Carlos Vela’s brilliance helped lead LAFC over the LA Galaxy in the LA Charity FIFA Challenge Sunday afternoon, scoring six total goals over four games that helped raise awareness and money as the world continues battling the coronavirus pandemic and the COVID-19 disease.
The challenge, which pitted LAFC’s Martin “RemiMartinn” Oregel against the Galaxy’s Giuseppe “The Godfather” Guastella, drew more than 16,000 views on both team’s Twitch channels and raised more than $5,000.
Max Bretos called the action on the LAFC channel, challenging the viewers to make donations of $32.52, referencing the club’s rabid supporters section. The goal donation was $3,252, which was reached at the end of the third game.
Bretos promised if the donations reached $5,000, he’d allow those fans to give him a beer shower at an upcoming game at Banc of California Stadium.
The challenge started at Dignity Health Sports Complex with RemiMartinn pulling out a 3-0 victory. Vela and Latif Blessing struck for a pair of goals late in the first half and Vela put the game away with his second goal in the 77th minute.
“I thought I played well,” RemiMartinn told Bretos after the game. “I definitely dominated with that game.”
The Godfather credited Martin’s game plan and execution.
“Remi played a very, very good game,” he said. “He pressed the ball the whole game. Remi played really well. I’ve got to just put one and two touches and quick passes together.”
The Godfather rallied in Game 2 with Sebastian Lletget scoring the lone goal in the 31st minute. Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez had a chance to add to that lead, but he had a shot cleared off the line. Another attempt caromed off both posts before Mark-Anthony Kaye was sent off late.
Chicharito gave the Galaxy the lead in the 38th minute of Game 3, a lead that held up until late.
But just when it appeared The Godfather would avenge his defeat in the eMLS League Series Two quarterfinal clash in Portland in February, Vela struck for the equalizer three minutes from full time — but not without a tinge of controversy.
During the game, The Godfather complained Vela should have been called for a foul on the buildup, but didn't use that as an excuse after. Either way, its a goal that proved critical to RemiMartinn.
“In Game 3, I don’t know what was going on, but I couldn’t find myself,” RemiMartinn said. “i had to rely on Carlos Vela [doing] what he does. He does the long shot, a finesse shot outside of the box, corner of it. This is where it translates. I take something from real life, I know he has the shot from outside so I just kind of relied on that and, you know what, it went in.”
What a way to win it! A @11carlosV special 🙌🏽 Most importantly what a stream where more than $5000 dollars were raised for a great cause to support the fight against #COVID19 HUGE thanks to @LAFC @LAFCGaming for making this possible and the @LAGalaxy for taking part 🖤💛 pic.twitter.com/klpICnbnw4— Martin Oregel (@RemiMartinn) March 29, 2020
To break the deadlock, a fourth game was played back in Carson where Vela took over. He opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time and added two more goals in the second half as LAFC took Game 4, 3-0.
“It was a hell of a shot by Remi, and Vela. Vela does that in real life and he just showed it in the game. It was unstoppable, I couldn’t do anything about it,” The Godfather said. “Once again, thank you guys for hosting and thank you guys for donating. It was fun. Good games, Remi.”