Defenses rule 2nd half as LAFC, Minnesota United draw

Carlos Vela and Emanuel Reynoso traded first-half goals as Los Angeles FC and Minnesota United played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night in Saint Paul, Minn.

It was Reynoso's fourth goal in just seven games this season for Minnesota United (7-8-7, 28 points), which has won just twice (2-2-6) in 10 home games. Dayne St. Clair finished with one save.

Vela scored for the second straight game for defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles FC (10-6-7, 37 points). John McCarthy made two saves for the Falcons.

Minnesota dominated the first 15 minutes, taking the first five shot attempts, including a diving header by Hassani Dotson in the middle of the box off a Reynoso cross that trickled just wide of the far right post. Also, Bongokuhle Hlongwane took a straight-on shot in the center of the box off another Reynoso set up, but McCarthy deflected it over the crossbar.

Vela then gave LAFC a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute when he got behind defender Michael Boxall in front of the box and cut around St. Clair, before calmly firing a left-footed shot into the open net for his eighth goal of the season.

But the Loons tied it just three minutes later when Kervin Arriaga chipped a short pass over two LAFC defenders to Reynoso in the middle of the box. Reynoso then fired a left-footed shot into the left corner of the goal.

Both teams clamped down defensively in the second half. Minnesota United had the best chance to take the lead in the 79th minute when they had a 2-on-1 breakout that finished with Reynoso making a crossing pass to Hlongwane at the right edge of the six-yard box. However, Hlongwane's right-footed shot went wide of the near post.

LAFC's best scoring chance came in the 90th minute when Ryan Hollingshead blasted a right-footed shot from outside the box that just sailed wide of the right post.

--Field Level Media