(East Los Angeles, CA) October 3, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: The brisk 2021 Autumn L.A. evening inside the Banc of California Stadium gave some pause for thinking about the change in our L.A. basin climate and weather. But, it was nonetheless time for LAFC fans to raise their voices, spirits, and hopes to the sky for a good, but winning match performance. The opponent was the Portland Timbers (currently in 3rd place) and it was imperative that the Black & Gold earn those badly needed three points with a victory over their Western Conference opponents.
All was in place for the team that came onto the pitch with their Black Flex uniforms, to El Grupo 3252’s singing of the National Anthem, to Olly’s breathtaking Falcon Flight. The starting line-up was slightly changed by Coach Bradley and the most obvious one was the replacement of Romero with the 6-6 Jamal Blackman in goal. Perhaps it was the very long ten day wait in between matches that tilted his decision to make the change.
(Match Action): Both squads played it back & forth for the first (38) minutes, with LAFC taking just a few shots on goal. The Timbers were not very aggressive either in pursuit of goals and were credited with only two attempts by the official match scorekeeper.
The only score came when the Timbers, first-line and front-line player, #23/Midfielder, Yimmi Chara, at the 45th minute, perhaps catching the Black & Gold off-guard in their box-protecting defense coverage, made a nice reverse pivot on the ball and then sent it to the far right corner of the goal just out of the reach of the goalie, Blackman. It then caromed into the back for the goal. The Referee added two minutes of stoppage time to the half.
To view the match highlights, click here.
(2nd Half Action): To start the period, LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley inserted three top-shelf reserves, Danny Musovski, Moon-Hwan Kim, and Marcos Farfan into the match for Diego Palacios, Michee Ngalina, and Sebastian Ibeaghe. Then, at the 55th minute, LAFC stole a dribble and #16 Musovski, who was in perfect position on the wing, scored on a horizontally stretched out goal that had enough zip to blow by the goal-keeper. This tied the match at (1-1). Another sigh of relief gripped the crowd, the faithful fanbase, and Grupo 3252 as it roared its loud approval once again.
But then at the 59th minute, the Timbers powerful striker, #27 Dairon Asprilla rammed in a line-drive rebound off the far right post that moved the score to (2-1) Timbers. Perhaps the offensive chord had been struck by both teams with this instant scoring flurry.
At minute 71 there was a dispute on a call by the Referee, Joseph Dickerson, who went to the VAR monitor at midfield and then overruled the initial call on the pitch. The on-field disputed play appeared to be in favor of LAFC. And so, the 22,000+ crowd obviously booed. It seemed like players from both teams were dropping to the Banc’s soft turf like swatted flies for what seemed like on every possession. But the match went on despite the hard-to-see player sprawled out on the turf and on his back waiting for the appropriate time for the Referee to stop play and allow the team’s Medical staff to come onto the pitch.
A stoppage time of 5 minutes was added to officially complete the match. But the LAFC attack was thwarted several times even with good angles for scoring shots. However, the fate of the Club was sealed in desperation as they simply could not find the energetic and confident rhythms they had established on their previous home-stand.
(Full Time Score): Portland 2 LAFC 1 (Attendance): 22,056
Here are the two teams records: The Galaxy are (W-11/L-11/Tie-5) for good 38 points. They are currently in 5th place tied with Minnesota United. The LAFC are (W-9/L-12/Tie-6) for 33 points. They are currently in 9th place, just ahead of San Jose.
(Next Up): L.A Galaxy, Oct. 3rd at 5:00 pm. Site: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, CA. To watch: ESPN & ESPN Deportes. Listen on Radio at 1110 AM ESPN, ESPN App & 980 AM La Mera Mera