On Sunday, New York City FC traveled to Los Angeles to take on LAFC for a first-ever MLS meeting between the boys in blue and the 2018 MLS expansion side. Both sides have enjoyed strong starts to the season and were both hoping for all three points on a nice Sunday evening in California.
With both sides putting their attacking abilities on display early in the game, it was NYCFC who struck first. A long corner kick found Anton Tinnerholm and the Swede's shot hit Eduard Atuesta's arm. After a quick check with VAR, NYCFC was awarded a penalty. David Villa stepped up, Tyler Miller made the save but right into "El Guaje's" path and his diving header hit the back of the net giving his side an early 1-0 lead.
Just a decade of minutes later, an equalizer came through a mistake at the back from NYCFC. Another corner kick resulting in a goal, Walker Zimmerman's powerful header put Sebastien Ibeagha in an awkward position and he steered it towards his own goal.
Both sides had chances through the remainder of the half, but neither could find the back of the net and give their side the lead. Both sides clearly in search of all three points et up an exciting second half battle.
In the 54th minute, David Villa attempted to change roles with Maxi Moralez. In attempting to be the creator, David Villa's outside of the foot pass brilliantly found Maxi Moralez who put the ball just over the crossbar. Just a minute later, Moralez tried another shot but this time from a few yards further, and the same result occurred with his shot coming close, but not quite finding the back of the net.
Laurent Ciman attempted to continue to display his free-kick abilities in the 63rd minute but his blast struck the post after a deflection and NYCFC escaped conceding for a second time on the night. That didn't last much longer as a ball bouncing around the box fell to the feet of Carlos Vela who made no mistake. A few bounces and a hesitation from Vela gave him the opportunity to slot it past Sean Johnson and give his side their first lead of the match.
Just a few moments later in the 70th minute, LAFC had a chance to double their lead. Latif Blessing found himself in the NYCFC box and an empty goal. His mishit his shot and shoved his head in his hands to display his frustration. Fans later found out there was a flag that had gone up.
Patrick Vieira's gamble of introducing Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and switching to a back thee paid off in the 76th minute when the recently introduced player slotted home the equalizer. Minutes after returning from injury, the 24-year-old pounced on a rebound and his shot scraped the crossbar before hitting the back of the net.
Just a moment later, David Villa played Jesus Medina in space but Tyler Miller came up with a huge save. The pressured continued for the visitors as David Villa continued to play creator. He sent Jo Inge Berget through on goal but a good Zimmerman block kept things level.
Vela nearly doubled his goal tally for the night and re-gave his side the lead but a good Sean Johnson save kept things at 2-2 heading into stoppage time. not long later, Diego Rossi's deflected shot almost sent Los Angeles in an uproar but his shot bounced just wide.
The game ended in a 2-2 draw despite a plethora of chances for both sides. An entertaining game ended with a VAR check-in at the final whistle. Nothing happened, the final whistle blew and each side had to settle for just one point.
For the hosts, LAFC will head back on the road after four consecutive home games as they prepare to face the Portland Timbers at Providence Park. Then, they'll return home to host a friendly vs Borussia Dortmund before returning to MLS play to host D.C. United.
As for Sunday's visitors, NYCFC will return to New York as they host the Colorado Rapids. Following that, the boys in blue will head south to take on the Houston Dynamo before returning to Yankee Stadium to host fellow 2015 MLS expansion side, Orlando City SC.