Despite a second-half surge, the Vancouver Whitecaps held LAFC to a 1-1 draw at Banc of California Stadium Tuesday evening.
LAFC have kept their 2021 Audi MLS Playoff hopes alive with a point at home while Vancouver will have to wait until Decision Day on Sunday, November 7 to find out if they will clinch a berth in the postseason. The Whitecaps would have clinched with three points on the night, but a draw pushes everything to the final matchday of the season for both sides. Going into Decision Day, the Whitecaps will only need a point to clinch a playoff spot whereas LAFC is in must-win territory.
A stunning goalkeeping performance from Maxime Crepeau kept his side in the match through both halves, with the Canadian International making 10 saves. Crepeau's heroics denied LAFC a second goal on numerous occasions and could ultimately be the difference between a playoff spot and the end of their season come Sunday.
LAFC began the match on the front foot, but a pacey counter-attack from Vancouver haunted them all night. It only took 14 minutes for the Whitecaps to execute their counter to perfection, with Cristian Dajome finding the back of the net for his 10th goal of the season. The Whitecaps won the ball in their own half and in just three passes, the ball ended up at the feet of Dajome who took one touch, turning his body and firing home.
Mamadou Fall equalized right before the halftime break off a corner kick for the hosts, but it did not come without controversy. The LAFC defender was originally called offside on the pitch, but after a Video Review, referee Alex Chilowicz overturned the call and gave the goal to the home side.
In an attempt to score an elusive second goal, Bob Bradley brought 2019 MLS MVP Carlos Vela off the bench, who is slowly returning from a lengthy injury layoff that saw him sidelined 11 straight matches. Vela's inclusion sparked a fire under the nose of LAFC, but the home side couldn't find the back of the net.
- 14' - VAN - Cristian Dajome
- 45+4' - LAFC - Mamadou Fall
- THE BIG PICTURE: Given their second half performance, it felt as if LAFC were going to find a winner on multiple occasions, but their attack just couldn’t find the final touch, most notably when Cristian Arango missed a glorious chance right at the death. They’re walking on toothpicks going into Decision Day. For Vancouver, it’s a very solid road point in their pursuit of the playoffs, although a lackluster second half where the substitutes had little impact may be a worry heading into the final game.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Mamadou Fall’s first-half stoppage-time goal. After a lengthy Video Review, the goal was awarded, giving LAFC their lone goal.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Maxime Crepeau. The Whitecaps goalkeeper put on a clinic, single-handedly earning a point for his side on the night.
- LAFC: Sunday, November 7 at Colorado Rapids | 3:00 pm (My13 KCOP, Estrella TV)