Goal by Riqui Puig gives the Galaxy a happy 4th of July against LAFC in front of a record 82,110 spectators at the Rose Bowl
Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Since the first time they met, LA Galaxy and LAFC produced a passion that didn't really exist in MLS. On the night of July 4th, “El Tráfico” reached its highest level in a special framework and with a historical figure.
Riqui Puig and Tyler Boyd scored excellent goals and assists to lead the Galaxy to a 2-1 victory over the reigning MLS champions in an unprecedented Los Angeles clash on Independence Day.
The 20th edition of this Los Angeles rivalry was held before an announced attendance of 82,110 spectators to set a new MLS recordsurpassing the 74,479 from last year's game between Charlotte FC and the Galaxy in that North Carolina city.
The match was originally to be played on the opening day of the season on February 25, but bad weather forced its postponement. The Italian Giorgio Chiellini missed a great opportunity at 88 ′ in a free header that he sent wide and LAFC had one last chance in added time, but no one finished off a drifting ball in the six-yard box.
With the game tied at one goal, the Galaxy mounted a counterattack in the 73rd minute. Tyler Boyd, who had scored his team's first goal, sent a perfect pass into the box for the great Riqui Puig to finish off with a terrific tackle before the goalkeeper left.
The historic series between the two teams now favors the Galaxy with 9 wins, 6 losses and 5 draws, including all competitions.
A Carlos Vela goal in the 83rd minute was disallowed for being offside when receiving the pass. The Mexican midfielder had made a good play by taking out the goalkeeper and shooting with his left foot.
The highly anticipated match was followed by a massive fireworks display that organizers said is the biggest in any professional sports during an active season.
The majestic Rose Bowl erupted in the 26th minute with a superb goal from the Galaxy, who acted as the home team. Tyler Boyd received Riqui Puig's pass at the entrance to the area, got rid of a defender and unleashed an excellent right-footed shot. A true goal from the man born in New Zealand who had already scored twice against LAFC this year, once in the league match on April 16 in Carson and once in the Cup.
LAFC came out more aggressive for the second half and found its reward at 57 minutes. After a saving save from goalkeeper Bond on a cross shot, came a corner kick that Spanish Ilie Sánchez headed into the near post. Bond touched the ball, but failed to deflect it. It was Sanchez's first touchdown as a US citizen, the team said.
The Galaxy had their first chance at goal after 8 minutes when Puig couldn't push into the net after Lucas Calegari's great pass left him alone in front of goalkeeper McCarthy, who made a good save.
At 16', the galactic goalkeeper Jonathan Bond made a spectacular save, perhaps one of the best of the MLS season, by preventing Denis Bouanga's powerful volley shot after Carlos Vela's masterful pass from shaking the nets.
LA Galaxy –Jonathan Bond; Lucas Calegari, Chris Mavinga, Kevin Leerdam, Raheem Edwards; Gaston Brugman (C), Riqui Puig, Mark Delgado, Tyler Boyd; Douglas Costa, Preston Judd. D.T.: Greg Vanney.
LAFC –John McCarthy; Denil Maldonado, Giorgio Chiellini, Erik Duenas, Ryan Hollingshead; Ilie Sanchez, Timothy Tillman, Kwadkwo Opoku (S. Bluk, 71), Kellyn Acosta; Carlos Vela (C), Denis Bouanga. DT: Steve Cherundolo.
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