Los Angeles—Philadelphia played an uncharacteristic game, giving up a few goals. They don’t typically give up a lot of goals in matches. They’ve four shutouts and lead Major League Soccer in fewest goals allowed this season.
But on Saturday night at Banc of California Stadium, they gave up two goals and despite leading twice, Franco Escobar smashed in a rebound following a corner kick for his first goal for his new team to lift LAFC (7-1-2, 23 points) to a 2-2 draw against the Philadelphia Union (5-1-4, 19 points).
Daniel Gazdag’s ninth-minute goal was his fifth goal of the season and leads the Union team. His goal took the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles FC club by surprise.
The Union moved back into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference with their third draw in four matches.
Escobar’s goal was LAFC’s second of the evening after Kwadwo Opoku got free in the box and sent home a 56th-minute goal to make it (1-1) 11 minutes after the break in a result that increased the Black-and-Gold’s lead atop the Western Conference to thee points.
Julian Carranza gave his team the lead again, with Gazdag assisting in the 67th minute. It was his fourth of the campaign on a nice finish from just inside the penalty area halfway through the second half for the visitors, who became the first team to score a second-half goal against LAFC this season.
LAFC kept the pressure in the second half rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits with a pair of second-half goals.
LAFC had first-half scoring chances from forward Carlos Vela and teammate Cristian Arango, both missed wide of the net.
The Black and Gold club is undefeated in six home games this season. It is also unbeaten in four MLS matches against Philadelphia, with a win and three draws, and is the only team the Union have never defeated in its history.
Philadelphia converted on its only two shots on goal, while LAFC had six shots on target for the match. LAFC also dominated possession time and shot overall, with 22 to Philadelphia’s eight.
Andre Blake, the Union goalkeeper, had four saves. Off a Vela corner kick, Blake saved the first shot but couldn’t stop Escobar’s right-footed rebound.
LAFC held on to the league’s best record and point total despite the draw.
- 9′ – Philadelphia-Daniel Gazdag
- 56′ – LAFC – Kwadwo Opoku
- 67′- Philadelphia-Julian Carranza
- 82′ – LAFC – Franco Escobar
LAFC: Tuesday, May 10 vs. Portland Timbers | 7:30 pm (ESPN+) | U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round