David Villa converts a rebound of his saved penalty kick into a goal. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)

LOS ANGELES — Give New York City FC and Los Angeles FC a lot of credit.

Both teams went out and playing attacking soccer, just about from start to finish, especially in the second half.

So, it was quite appropriate that both teams shared the points after playing to a 2-2 draw at Banc of California Stadium Sunday night.

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi’s goal in the 75th minute lifted NYCFC (6-2-3, 21 points) into the tie against expansion LA (6-2-2, 20).

Tajouri-Shradi missed several games with a hamstring injury.

“I am very happy to be back after a small injury,” he said. “It was not so good I was injured. I am very happy to score again.”

Tajouri-Shradi, a second-half substitute, tallied after Carlos Vela had given LAFC the lead in the 66th minute.

“We had players on the bench who can make a difference when we need it,” NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira said. “I was really pleased because of course to not just get the goal, but it was really on his mind and that’s what I want from the players on the bench – to come into the game and help out the team. I think it was a great example today.”

The first half ended in a 1-1 deadlock as both goals were far from the garden variety.

NYCFC struck first in the 13th minute as a hand ball was awarded to the visiting side after the Video Assistant Referee was needed to determine whether there was an infraction in the penalty area. The ball hit the outstretched hand of Edward Atuesta.

I’m not going to complain today about it, but I think we want the referee to make the right decision,” Vieira said. “I think what was really smart about the referee’s decision is that he went to go check himself and he decided it was a penalty. Today it helped us, and maybe the next game it will be against us, but it allows the referees to try to make the best decisions for the sake of the game, and it is good.”

On the ensuing spot kick, goalkeeper Tyler Miller denied David Villa’s attempt. The Spanish international, however, headed home the rebound to lift NYCFC to a 1-0 edge. It was Villa’s 402nd goal — for club and country — of his career.

If at first you don't succeed… David Villa SánchezDust yourself off and head it in!

Posted by New York City FC on Sunday, May 13, 2018

The hosts equalized on an own goal. Off a corner kick, LAFC defender Walker Zimmerman headed the ball toward the net that last touched City defender Sebastian Ibeagha before eluding goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the 23rd minute.

LAFC grabbed the lead at 2-1 in the 67th minute as Carlos Vela completed a nifty passing sequence by knocking the ball past Johnson.

Then it was City’s turn to come from behind. This time it was Tajouri-Shradi, who scored. Only six minutes after entering the match for fullback Ben Sweat, Tajouri-Shradi slammed home a rebound from the left side to knot things up at 2-2 in the 75th minute.

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi back like he never left!

Posted by New York City FC on Sunday, May 13, 2018

Videos courtesy of NYCFC’s Facebook Page

The goal was Tajouri-Sharadi’s fifth of the season.

“It was a very hard game,” Tajouri-Shradi said. “LAFC is a good team.”




13’ – NYC – David Villa 

23’ – LAFC – Sebastien Ibeagha (OG)

66’ – LAFC – Carlos Vela (Assisted by: Mark Anthony-Kaye)

75’ – NYC – Ismael Tajouri-Shradi




16’ – NYC – Yangel Herrera (YC – Unsporting Behavior)

28’ – LAFC – Eduard Atuesta (YC – Unsporting Behavior)

32’ – LAFC – Tyler Miller (YC – Time Wasting)

37’ – LAFC – Omar Gaber (YC – Unsporting Behavior)

62’ – LAFC – Ben Sweat (YC – Unsporting Behavior)



Los Angeles FC: Tyler Miller; Omar Gaber, Laurent Ciman, Walker Zimmerman, Steven Beitashour (’79 Jordan Harvey); Benny Feilhaber (78’ Lee Nguyen), Eduard Atuesta, Carlos Vela,  Mark-Anthony Kaye, Latif Blessing; Diego Rossi

SUBS UNUSED: Charlie Lyon, Calum Mallace, Tristan Blackmon, Dejan Jakovic, Jao Moutinho


New York City FC: Sean Johnson; Ben Sweat (69’ Ismael Tajouri-Shradi ), Alexander Callens, Sebastien Ibeagha, Anton Tinnerholm; Yangel Herrera, Alexander Ring, Maxi Moralez (80’ Ebenezer Ofori); Jo Inge Berget, David Villa (87’ Ronald Matarrita), Jesus Medina


SUBS UNUSED: Brad Stuver, Cedric Houtondji, Tommy McNamara, Rodney Wallace