Carlos Vela stepped up like he always does in El Trafico with a double and an assist in LAFC’s 3-2 victory over a fast-finishing LA Galaxy on Sunday.
The former Mexico international, who scored in LAFC’s 3-0 midweek win over the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Concacaf Champions League, was the difference as his team climbed to second in the Western Conference.
Vela’s double meant he scored 12 times against the Galaxy as it led LAFC to their first ever road win at Dignity Health Sports Park in nine attempts.
Vela curled in a trademark style pass in the 22nd minute, but the Galaxy responded with Tyler Boyd’s long strike in the 39th minute.
But LAFC fired back with two goals in three minutes to open up a 3-1 lead, first from some shaky Galaxy defending when Sega Coulibaly brought down Denis Bouanga in the penalty area.
Vela stepped up to send Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann the wrong way before the former Arsenal man’s corner found Ryan Hollingshead to nod home in the 70th minute. Kwadwo Opoku missed a chance to make it 4-1 when he also poked in a quick counter-attack.
Riqui Puig, who had a quiet second half, struck a shot wide of the post in the 81st minute before his brilliant pass was set up by Javier Hernandez but was denied by McCarthy.
In the 84th minute, Hernandez, making his first start of the season, touched Dejan Joveljic’s low cross to set up a simple tap-in from Marco Delgado. The Galaxy almost grabbed a point when Calegari’s speculative shot forced McCarthy to tip it over the bar.
The Galaxy remain winless this MLS season with three points from seven games.