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LAFC 6, LA Galaxy 2 | MLS is Back Tournament Match Recap

LAFC scored five unanswered goals in Saturday’s El Trafico matchup at the MLS is Back Tournament, cruising to a 6-2 win over the LA Galaxy in Group F play.

Diego Rossi scored four goals, while Bradley Wright-Phillips and Mohamed El-Munir each tallied in the second half to squash the Galaxy’s hopes after they led 2-1 during the first half. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez missed the game after suffering an injury in training midweek, and Carlos Vela previously withdrew due to his wife’s pregnancy.

Rossi scored in the 13th, 75th and 92nd minutes, plus during first-half stoppage time, to give LAFC the most lopsided result in El Trafico history and draw the all-time series level at 2-2-3 across all competitions. The Uruguayan forward first tallied from the penalty-kick spot after Wright-Phillips was pulled down by Perry Kitchen in the 18-yard box on a corner kick. He then thrice deposited one-time finishes with his right foot, filling in at center forward when Wright-Phillips was subbed off in the 71st minute. 

Despite Rossi’s star showing, the Galaxy opened a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute via an own goal; Sebastian Lletget’s squared ball was passed into the LAFC net by Latif Blessing. Rossi’s PK then made it 1-1, only for the Galaxy to claim a 2-1 lead in the 31st minute when Cristian Pavon made amends on a second attempt from 12 yards out. LAFC goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega saved Pavon’s first PK, but rushed off his line prematurely, giving Pavon another try that he buried into the left-hand corner.

Tied 2-2 at halftime, LAFC started to put the game out of reach in the 56th minute through Wright-Phillips. The veteran curled home through traffic to land his second goal in as many games after joining from the New York Red Bulls. El-Munir then rocketed home a left-footed blast in the 80th minute to make it 5-2, putting an exclamation point on a dominant second half. 

Before LAFC pulled away late, Pavon thought he had a game-tying goal in the 54th minute. He deposited past Sisniega after a Lletget through ball, but an offside flag waved off a strike that would have made it 3-3. From there, LAFC poured on the goals.

Goals

  • 5' – LA – Latif Blessing (OG) | WATCH
  • 13' – LAFC – Diego Rossi (PK) | WATCH
  • 31' – LA – Cristian Pavon (PK) | WATCH
  • 45' (+2) – LAFC – Diego Rossi | WATCH
  • 56' – LAFC – Bradley Wright-Phillips | WATCH
  • 75' – LAFC – Diego Rossi | WATCH
  • 80' – LAFC – Mohamed El-Munir | WATCH
  • 90' (+2) – LAFC – Diego Rossi | WATCH

Man of the Match presented by Heineken

Diego Rossi scored four goals to move into a tie with Toronto FC forward Ayo Akinola for the Golden Boot presented by Audi’s top spot. Both have five goals heading into Round 3, while Rossi also got a second assist on Bradley Wright-Phillips’ goal. That makes him the first MLS player to twice be involved in five goals in one game.

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: LAFC now have scored nine goals in two MLS is Back Tournament games, all without Carlos Vela. On the flip side, the reigning Supporters’ Shield champions have allowed five goals during two games in Orlando. Those stats aside, Bob Bradley’s team has now won back-to-back El Traficos and owns citywide bragging rights in the post-Zlatan Ibrahimovic era. As for the Galaxy? They're bottom of the early Western Conference standings and one of five MLS teams yet to win in 2020.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Mohamed El-Munir’s strike in the 80th minute was hit so pure. The knuckler left David Bingham stranded, and reflected the incredible depth LAFC can call upon. It also firmly put the game out of reach.
  • YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: LAFC co-owner Will Ferrell gave a halftime interview that can generously be described as unique. It involved corn on the cob, a helmet from “Talladega Nights” and a peek inside his home. Words don’t quite do it justice.

Next Up

  • LAFC: Thursday, July 23 vs. Portland Timbers (10:30 pm ET | ESPN2, ESPN Deportes in US; TVAS, TSN in Canada)
  • LA: Thursday, July 23 vs. Houston Dynamo (8:00 pm ET | FS1, TUDN in US; TVAS in Canada) 
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