LOS ANGELES >> On Sunday, after a shaky end to the first half, Los Angeles Football Club rebounded in the second to beat the Red Bulls 4-2 at Banc of California Stadium.
In the first half of Sunday’s match, the scoring came in quick succession for both LAFC and the Red Bulls. After withstanding attacking sequences from the Red Bulls attack early in the first half, LAFC (17-4-3) struck twice in two minutes for the early lead.
In the 22nd minute, forward Carlos Vela sent a free kick into veteran defender Jordan Harvey, who scored on a header despite being between two Red Bulls defenders.
It was Harvey’s first goal of the season.
Moments later, midfielders Eduard Atuesta and Latif Blessing’s combined with defender Steven Beitashour to open up the Red Bulls (11-4-10) defense for LAFC’s second goal in as many minutes. Blessing finished the build up for his 4th goal of the season and second in as many matches.
LAFC’s 2-0 lead evaporated as quickly as it formed.
In the 42nd minute, Cristian Casseres Jr. dispossessed Blessing at the top of the box and delivered a quick 20-yard strike that trimmed the lead to 2-1.
Then, in the last minutes of the first half, after Red Bulls winger Daniel Royer forced a big save from goalkeeper Tyler Miller, Royer combined with forward Brian White in forcing Miller into an own goal, tying the game at two.
LAFC righted the ship quickly in the second half. In the 58th minute, another crisp series of passes between Eddie Segura, Atuesta, and Harvey in the box led right back Rece Buckmaster to foul Atuesta inside the box. Vela stepped up to the spot and promptly collected his 23rd goal of the season, putting LAFC ahead 3-2.
LAFC finished its scoring on the night in the 71st minute, when another Vela free kick found Eddie Segura, who netted his first goal for LAFC.
From that point to the end of the match, though the team never stopped attacking, defense become the focus for LAFC. After scoring twice and shutting the Red Bulls out in the second half, LAFC’s goal differential in 2019 is a season-high 40 goals.
With the three-point night, Vela has tied Sebastian Giovinco, who had a combined 38 goals and assists in 2015 with Toronto, for the most points in an MLS season.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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