Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 LAFC: Hernandez stars in El Trafico thriller
Photo: John McCoy/Getty Imagea

The first edition of El Trafico in 2021 lived up to its billing as the Los Angeles Galaxy edged archrivals LAFC 2-1 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Javier Hernandez opened the scoring in the 11th minute on his El Trafico debut. Diego Rossi made it 1-1 in the 62nd minute before Jonathan Dos Santos claimed the match winner in the 79th minute.

Story of the match

Rossi had the game's first chance in the fourth minute as received a ball over the top by Mark-Anthony Kaye, but his volleyed shot was well over. 

The Galaxy were in front in the 11th minute as Derrick Williams landed a hard challenge on Jose Cifuentes and Hernandez latched onto the ball and fired a right-footed shot past LAFC goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega.

The visitors had another chance as Eduard Atuesta forced a good save out of Bond and in the 32nd minute after a Galaxy turnover on the right flank, he denied Rossi and Latif Blessing to keep the hosts in front. 

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Blessing helped to set up the equalizer in the 62nd minute, playing a neat one-two with Corey Baird as they combined on top of the 18-yard box with Rossi capping the passage of play by finishing past Bond to make it 1-1.

Hernandez turned provider for the match-winner as he collected a low cross from substitute Cameron Dunbar, who had stripped  Jesus David Murillo of the ball, sending a blind pass to Dos Santos, who punched home to settle the first edition of this year's El Trafico.

Man of the match: Javier Hernandez

Making his El Trafico debut, Chicharito netted his sixth goal of the season and after LAFC leveled things up, he provided the match-winning assist on Dos Santos' goal. The rough 2020 he had looks to be a distant memory.


Absence of Vela hurting LAFC

When you lose one of the best players in the league, the effects will be felt, but LAFC are now winless in their last three matches after an opening victory over Austin, the last time the star frontman played.

There's no shortage of possession and quality chances created, but the product in the final third is lacking, which is a product of Vela's absence.