Carlos Vela scored a late goal in his return to action and LAFC took a 2-0 victory in their El Trafico matchup with the LA Galaxy on Sunday, as Danny Musovski also found the net in a match that saw the Galaxy reduced to 10 men for most of the contest.
With the result, LAFC move up to fourth in the Western Conference with 28 points, while the reeling Galaxy find themselves in real danger of finishing last on the league table.
The Galaxy were dealt a crucial blow in the 22nd minute, when center back Giancarlo Gonzalezwas given a straight red card by referee Kevin Stott for denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. Gonzalez brought down LAFC's Diego Rossi, who had slid behind the back line for a breakaway.
Stott originally awarded a penalty kick and gave Gonzalez a yellow card, but changed the call to red after Video Review showed the center back had brought Rossi down just outside the penalty area, putting the Galaxy down a man for the rest of the match.
LAFC would find the opener in the 58th minute, as Musovski got on the end of a through ball from Rossi and lofted home a chipped finish over Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann, who had come off his line.
The Galaxy protested that the ball had gone out of play on the opposite touchline prior to the sequence for what should have been a corner kick, but the play would not go to VAR and the goal was upheld.
LAFC saw the return of Vela in the second half, as the reigning MLS MVP made his first appearance since August 22 as a 70th-minute substitute, and made it a grand re-entry into the fold with a cheeky insurance goal in second-half stoppage time.
- 58' - LAFC - Danny Musovski | WATCH
- 90'+3 - LAFC - Carlos Vela
- THE BIG PICTURE: It could have been worse for the Galaxy, as they put themselves in a tough spot with the early red card, and never really threatened in the attack after it. But LAFC largely controlled the action, and were probably unlucky to not find the net more than once as they racked up 27 shots. They'll also be thrilled to see Vela find the net in his first game back.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Musovski's game-winner was a controversial one, but it stood as the decisive goal all the same. It was also an alert and well-taken finish.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Musovski has stepped up nicely during Vela's layoff, as Sunday's tally marked his fifth goal of the season in his fifth start, and wound up giving his team all three points. The 24-year-old gets the honors for this one.