Hyped up as one of the biggest games in MLS history and as a continuation of the Vela-Ibrahimovic rivalry, the latest El Trafico derby didn’t fail to deliver as LAFC swept to a 5-3 win and booked a place in the Western Final.
Despite going into the game as the MLS’ most successful ever side, LAFC had yet to experience a win over their cross-town rivals in either of their MLS regular seasons. They started this match seemingly unfazed by this however, hitting the post early on before Carlos Vela (who else?) opened the scoring on minute 16. Bob Bradley’s side pressed on and looked the better side for most of the half, earning another goal as a reward in the 40th minute, once again through Carlos Vela. This one was not without controversy however, with the Mexican forward seemingly in an offside position before he tucked the ball away.
Thanks to good work from Zlatan however, Galaxy were soon back in the game after the Swede released Christian Pavon who brought the game back to 2-1. Zlatan would once again make himself the centre of attention, as he took full advantage of some dodgy goalkeeping by Tyler Miller and bringing the scores level at 2-2.
It must have felt like groundhog day for LAFC, who squandered yet another lead to Galaxy this year, but a couple of goals in the space of two minutes from Diego Rossi and Adama Diomande mercifully restored their two goal lead. Rolf Feltscher’s goal for Galaxy threatend to throw a spanner into the works for LAFC, but they were able to seal the game with Diomande’s second ten minutes from time.
LAFC were the favourites in most soccer betting markets going into the Play Offs after their great regular season, standing at +150 originally. Their odds as favourites have drastically improved following their triumph here, now priced at about -175. They face the Seattle Sounders in the Western Final on October 29th.