LAFC entered their last home game of the 2021 season with essentially a must-win mandate against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Tuesday, Nov. 2, at the Banc of California Stadium. Separated by just three points and with only two games left in regular season play, both teams needed a victory to secure a top seven playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Vancouver Whitecaps opened the scoring early on with a goal from Cristian Dajome, assisted by Brian White. LAFC equaled in the waning minutes of a fairly even first half thanks to a deflection off a Whitecaps defender that gave 18-year-old LAFC defender Mamadou Fall a close-range tap-in (the goal was initially called offside but made good after a VAR review).
Come second half, LAFC posted a whopping 25 shots and 2.78 xG, compared to Vancouver's five total shots and 1.12 xG, but were unable to get past keeper Maxime Crepeau who had multiple thrilling, game-changing saves.
While LAFC were coming off a defiant 3-0 win against the Seattle Sounders and a five-game unbeaten streak, they faced a sizable task against a Whitecaps side that has only lost one match since Sept. 10. Along with White, Vancouver's new Designated Player Ryan Gauld has been posting impressive numbers, helping push the Whitecaps into playoff contention.
On the home side, LAFC have responded to the gaping hole left by the loss of Carlos Vela, Eduard Atuesta, and Eddie Segura to injury (and the sale of Diego Rossi) with the addition of dynamic young defender Fall, a new-and-improved Brian Rodriguez, and Colombian striker Cristian Arango, who has scored 13 goals in 16 games. Vela did make an appearance last match and was subbed in on Tuesday in the 72nd minute.
With Tuesday's draw, LAFC's hopes to make it into playoffs grow slim but not impossible. As they approach the all-important Decision Day on Sun., Nov. 7, LAFC will have to win their last match against Colorado and hope results in other games around the league go their way. They currently sit in 9th place with 45 points.
LAFC v Colorado Rapids in Colorado, Sun., Nov. 7 @ 3 p.m.
Vancouver v Seattle Sounders in Vancouver, Sun., Nov. 7 @ 3 p.m.