Franco Escobar smashed in a rebound following a corner kick for his first goal for his new club to lift LAFC to a 2-2 draw against the Philadelphia Union in a potential 2022 MLS Cup preview Saturday night at Banc of California Stadium.
Escobar's leveler was LAFC's second of the evening after Kwadwo Opoku scored to make it 1-all 11 minutes after halftime in a result that increased the Black-and-Gold's lead atop the Western Conference to thee points.
Daniel Gazdag opened the scoring with his team-leading fifth goal of the season for Philadelphia, which moved back into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference with their third draw in four matches.
Julian Carranza added his fourth of the campaign on a gorgeous finish from just inside the penalty area midway through the second half for the visitors, who became the first team to score a second-half goal against LAFC this season.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Even though common logic suggests the away team should be happier with a point, this will probably be one both sides feel OK with. The Union continued to demonstrate they are an elite MLS road team with their ability to score stealthy goals on the counter. And LAFC proved they have some resiliency they perhaps lacked in 2021 to come back from a goal down twice, the latter time on Escobar's leveler below.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The Union were truly under it when, almost out of nowhere, Carranza took Gazdag's pass and sent an inch-perfect, off-balance looping finish beyond the dive of Maxime Crepeau and inside the left post.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: There was no 35-yard thunderbolt free kick this time, but Jakob Glesnes was still a rock in the Union back line despite his team conceding twice. He showed up time and again for key aerial clearances, and made this absurd reflexive block to deny Mamadou Fall a stunning, bicycle kick match-winner.
- LAFC: Tuesday, May 10 vs. Portland Timbers | 7:30 pm (ESPN+) | U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round