LAFC erased a two-goal deficit, but couldn't find a second-half winner and settled for a 2-2 draw against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday evening.
Deiber Caicedo and Cristian Dajome each struck to give Vancouver a first-half cushion, but Carlos Vela scored for a third straight game right before the half and Jose Cifuentes found a 75th-minute equalizer that ensured the match would end on level terms.
Vancouver broke through in the 25th minute off a well-worked sequence that was then aided by a defensive error at the back, which saw LAFC fail to clear a cross into the box by Dajome. The ball popped loose, allowing Caicedo to pounce for an easy tap-in finish into an open net. Dajome then doubled the 'Caps lead in the 38th minute, nodding a headed finish to the far post off a pinpoint free kick from Cristian Gutierrez.
But LAFC cut the lead in half just two minutes after that, getting a crucial tally heading into halftime through Vela, as the superstar attacker ran onto a through ball from Eduard Atuesta and cashed home his fourth goal of the season. It was originally ruled offside, but the call was reversed and the goal awarded upon Video Review by referee Kevin Stott.
The Whitecaps held onto their 2-1 lead until the LAFC found the leveler on 75 minutes. It came through a fantastic strike from Cifuentes, who lashed home a first-time volley off a cross from Diego Palacios.
Vancouver thought they had a late winner, but an 85th-minute strike from Dajome was disallowed, as it was ruled that Janio Bikel was offside and obstructed LAFC goalkeeper Tomas Romero. From there, the match ended in a 2-2 deadlock.
- 25' – VAN – Deiber Caicedo
- 38' – VAN – Cristian Dajome
- 40' – LAFC – Carlos Vela
- 75' – LAFC – José Cifuentes
- THE BIG PICTURE: A road point at the Banc would ordinarily be a solid result for the Whitecaps, but they missed an opportunity to get a huge road victory before heading back home to Canada. It's not a result that suits LAFC especially well either, as the Black & Gold typically expect to take care of business in their own building against a team near the bottom of the Western Conference table.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: José Cifuentes' equalizer continued a quietly standout campaign for the 22-year-old Ecuadorian midfielder. He now has five goals and two assists through 15 games.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Cristian Dajome has been Vancouver's most dynamic attacker all season, and it was his handiwork that allowed Vancouver to leave Los Angeles with a point. The Colombian forward put in the ball that led to their first goal and scored the second himself.
- LAFC: Wednesday, July 28 vs. Minnesota United | 7:30 pm PT (Bally Sports SoCal, Estrella TV)