By Trina Borelli
Los Angeles, CA — The battle for Los Angeles was in full swing during the Western Conference Semifinals Thursday night at Banc of California Stadium. With championship aspirations on the line, the Los Angeles Football Club defeated the LA Galaxy for the first time, 5-3 and advance to the Western Conference Finals.
Tonight was amazing not only Los Angeles FC and the LA Galaxy, this was amazing for the fans to witness two of the leagues better ball clubs and for both of them to be from LA hosting a playoff game. Los Angeles is not necessarily known for fútbol, however, the spirit and support from the fans in the stadium tonight was outstanding and so dedicated.
LAFC is a new team and have only been around for about two years; this is their biggest win yet.
Carlos Vela was the definitely one of the most stand out players from LAFC. He finished the game with two goals, both scored in the first half.
Following a turnover by Diego Polenta, Vela scored the game’s first goal in the 16th minute. He would then cash in his second goal in the 40th minute, yet, there was a tad bit of disagreement from the Galaxy bench as they felt Vela was offside when receiving the pass that would lead to his goal from LAFC teammate, Latif Blessing.
The goal would stand however, as referee Kevin Scott didn’t feel there was enough evidence to overturn the call.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, star player from LA Galaxy, played what could be his last game with the team tonight. Ibrahimovic recorded one goal in the contest during the game’s 55th minute that would tie the score at 2. He played his heart out in the game and whatever he should do after this season, Galaxy fans should be happy with the contributions he made while in LA as a member of the team.
However, LAFC’s Diego Rossi, who had a monster all-around performance, would give his team back the lead in the 66th minute (3-2). He was an absolute standout in this game as he made several amazing passes that contributed highly to the win in addition to his one goal.
After the Galaxy responded to Los Angeles FC’s two unanswered goals with Rolf Fleltscher netting in a goal to cut the lead to one, LAFC would storm back with two straight goals of their own. In addition, Los Angeles FC took advantage of the opportunity of advancing one step closer to a championship with a goal from Adama Diomande. His score put the icing on the cake in the 80th minute and helped LAFC win the game and get to the Western Conference Finals.
Both teams played amazing tonight in their rivalry game. The rivalry has been labeled “El Trafico” as a play on words with the famous Barcelona and Madrid rivalry called “El Classico”. Even though LA has the most crazy and unnecessary traffic, which we really saw tonight by the stadium, it was still filled completely by fans, which had comforting and friendly spirit.
Whether a fan was rooting for LAFC or the Galaxy, an Los Angeles soccer team made it to the next round at the end of the day. So, that is a win for everyone. People underestimate Los Angeles’ sports fan support and spirit but tonight should definitely change their minds.
Los Angeles FC advances to the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Western Conference Final, where they’ll face the Seattle Sounders FC on Oct. 29. On the other end, the Galaxy’s season will end here as they turn their focus to the next season.