With just a handful of matches left in the regular season, this week’s midweek was set to be full of madness as two top teams in the West met. LAFC were on the road this evening to take on the first-placed St. Louis City, who have had a Cinderella-esque inaugural season. While both sides sit in really good positions, this one felt like a must-win in some ways for both sides. For the home side, a win would keep them in control of the West and, more importantly, go a long way to ensure the road to MLS Cup goes through them. LAFC on the other hand, are coming off a huge win at home against their rivals, and could use another win to start building momentum and finding some more consistency down the stretch.
2⃣5⃣0⃣ and counting…
— LAFC (@LAFC) September 21, 2023
The first half was as close as many expected. Possession was split fairly evenly, with LAFC taking the slight edge with 51%. Los Angeles amassed more shots, but none finding the target. It looked like the home side would have a huge opportunity in the 13th minute when the referee blew for the penalty. However, a trip to the monitor saw him reverse his original call, taking away the penalty shout, and keeping it scoreless throughout the first half.
The second half continued much like the first with neither side finding anything to separate the two. The match remained even, scoreless, and mostly eventless through 80 minutes before LAFC began finding another gear to get a few more really solid opportunities at what would likely be the winning goal.
Despite racking up shot after shot, LAFC couldn’t find the final moment to unlock the goals. The timing was just off, and the efforts not quite there. The draw doesn’t completely end the team’s hopes at the top spot, but it does make it a tougher road, as a Sounders win later this evening, could see the team go to sleep in third place. They will be back in action in just a few days, in an MLS Cup Finals rematch, as they continue the road trip against the Philadelphia Union.
Thoughts on the draw? Leave a comment below!