Two LA derby matches, two dramatic classics.
LAFC and the LA Galaxy played out another breathless chapter in their fledgling rivalry at Banc of California Stadium on Thursday night, as the expansion side cruised out to a 2-0 lead only to implode in the final minutes as the visiting Galaxy snatched two opportunistic goals to claim a share of the spoils.
Lee Nguyen doubled the hosts' advantage some 13 minutes later, whipping a gorgeous dipping free kick up and over the Galaxy wall and past goalkeeper David Bingham. The strike came at a price, however, as influential box-to-box midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye rolled his left ankle while earning the set piece and had to limp out of the match in obvious pain. Head coach Bob Bradley confirmed in his postgame press conference that he had fractured his ankle and would require surgery.
LAFC were superior for most of the match and flubbed a range of changes to ice the victory with a third goal, and just like these sides' earlier meeting, they were harshly punished for it.
First Romain Alessandrini conjured up a resourceful finish after some good work by Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 82nd minute. Then not long after, newcomer Andre Horta – making his LAFC debut off the bench – handed Ola Kamara a free run at Tyler Miller with a disastrous long back pass that led to an empty-net finish.
- 7' – LAFC – Carlos Vela | WATCH
- 20' – LAFC – Lee Nguyen | WATCH
- 82' – LA – Romain Alessandrini | WATCH
- 86' – LA – Ola Kamara | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Are you not entertained?! LAFC will curse their growing propensity to sully strong performances with blown leads, the Galaxy continue to look both flawed and fabulous, and the rest of us are just happy to gawk at it all in wonder.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Alessandrini's goal sparked the comeback, and the sequence leading up to it encapsulated everything that made the final result possible – particularly mental lapses from the home side and dogged persistence from the visitors.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Perry Kitchen and Jona dos Santos did key work in the engine room, but it was the hard running, tactical versatility and clutch finishing of Romain Alessandrini that made the Galaxy go.