Cristian Arango drills the winner in the 93rd minute thriller against Galaxy as LAFC advances


Los Angeles FC forward Cristian Arango, center, celebrates after striking down LA Galaxy goaltender Jonathan Bond during the second half of an MLS playoff soccer game in Los Angeles on Thursday, October 20, 2022 in Los Angeles , has met. Los Angeles FC won 3-2. (AP Photo/Ringo HW Chiu)

LOS ANGELES – How does that always happen?

Whatever thoughts or predictions you may have El Trafico, scrap those. These games are about as unpredictable as it gets, and Thursday’s playoff slugfest between LAFC and the Los Angeles Galaxy at Banc of California Stadium was just another chapter in that absurd rivalry.

LAFC drew first blood when Carlos Vela Denis Bouanga brilliantly found in the box and Bouanga hit the back of the net to give the home side a 1-0 lead. The Galaxy responded before half-time when Samuel Grandsir equalized after a poor clearance from Eddie Segura.

LAFC seemed to have won in the 80th minute with an opening goal from Denis Bouanga. Five minutes later, just seconds after the start of the game, Dejan Joveljic equalized again with a goal from distance that is absolutely worth seeing.

Back and forth, as has become common in these games.

A late corner kick was awarded to LAFC in added time as the stadium rose. The ball found Bouanga, who blocked a shot saved by goalkeeper Jonathan Bond, but Cristian “Chicho” Arango was there to bring the rebound home in the 93rd minute.

These games always find a way to get tense and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. The Supporters’ Shield winners will host the Western Conference Finals at Banc of California Stadium against either Austin FC or FC Dallas.

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