By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1
The Los Angeles Football Club hosted the Philadelphia Union in a wild 3-3 draw on Sunday in a sold-out Banc of California Stadium.
The home team kicked off to a great start by consistently pressuring the Union’s backline even with a poor defensive performance. Tristan Blackmon and the duo of Dejan Jankovic and Eddie Segura had a lot of good touches and made space in the middle against a young Philadelphia squad.
LAFC’s first big scoring opportunity came in the fourth minute with Diego Rossi’s early chance off a through ball from Mark-Anthony Kaye. However, Rossi’s ongoing strenuous relationship with the offsides flag arose, taking hopes of an early lead away.
Sergio Santos sent a left-footed strike past an outstretched Kenneth Vermeer to put the Union on the board first in the 29th minute. Nine minutes later, Carlos Vela sent in a curling free kick from 20 yards out for his 50 MLS-career goal. The shot levelled the match and set a new MLS record — The captain has now scored in 12 consecutive home matches.
Within five minutes of the restart, both teams were quick to exchange goals again. Jakob Glesnes’s long-range rocket regained the Union’s lead in the 48th minute, but Rossi immediately answered, sending the equalizer into the top left corner.
In the 69th minute, 19-year-old Brenden Aaronson tallied a third for the Union. But LAFC rallied once again and Segura responded, his attempt trickling into the back of the net in the 71st minute.
Both sides continued to trade chances for the remainder of the half with the final opportunity falling to Brian Rodriguez during stoppage time. But as the script goes, Blake blocked his attempt to secure a point for each side.
The Black-and-Gold will return to CCL action as they host the first quarterfinal leg on Thursday, March 12 against Liga MX side Cruz Azul, with the second leg to follow six days later at Estadio Azteca. The club will make a another quick turnaround to continue league play against Portland on Sunday, March 22.
Featured Image: @LAFC
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