Los Angeles FC defender Diego Palacios (12) slide tackles the ball away from New York City FC midfielder Andres Jasson (21) (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
The soccer gods giveth and sometimes they taketh.
On Saturday, they were in a giving mood for New York City FC.
A week after losing to Columbus Crew SC on two late free kicks, NYCFC tallied the game-winning goal off a set piece.
An unmarked Ismael Tajouri-Shradi slipped in a corner kick in the 90th minute to boost 10-man NYCFC to a 2-1 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Football Club at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles Saturday.
What a comeback win in LA! Boys never stopped believing and fought relentlessly for the points we deserved in the end!! +3 #NYCFC
— Sean Johnson (@SeanJohnGK) May 29, 2021
City (3-2-2) was forced to play the final four minutes of regulation and six minutes of stoppage time after Nicolas Acevedo was yellow card and then red carded for violent conduct in the 86th minute.
“It’s a massive win,” NYCFC head coach Ronny Deila said. “We meet, in my opinion, that is a top, top team in the league. Playing them away and we get three points and we deserved it. If you look at all the games where we haven’t picked up points earlier, today was an even game if you look at the chances, but we had the margins with us.
“I’m very, very proud of the team. We defended good in the first half and into the second half. They got their chance in the end, and they scored. We had a really good bench, we changed four players, got more offensive and go for a goal. In the end we got through a red card, and got three points. It’s a massive win to build belief and team spirit.”
According to the Professional Referee Organization, Acevedo was sent off for receiving two yellow cards. The first yellow was for a foul challenge which occurred at 62:53, but the referee played advantage and the card wasn’t actually shown until the next stoppage in the 66th minute. The second yellow card was for a foul challenge at 85:23.
Left back Malte Amundsen felt the team showed great fortitude in overcoming the late ejection.
“It was tough of course, the red card, which from my point of view was crazy,” he said. “But I think it shows a lot, that we’re able to bounce back and win this game in the dying seconds. It’s such a great honor to be a part of a team with this killing, winning mentality. Now I think we got a little bit [of] justice after two robberies the last two games, so it feels great right now.”
Jesus Medina put home the equalizer in the 70th minute off an assist by second-half substitute Anton Tinnerholm, who had come on four minutes prior.
LAFC (2-2-3) scored off Corey Baird’s 56th-minute goal.
City newcome, Brazilian striker Talles Magno made his NYCFC debut in the 66th minute, replacing Keaton Parks in the 66th minute, before he was pulled for Sebastian Ibeagha for defensive purposes in the 90th minute.
“Very happy to make my MLS debut,” Magno said. “I am adapting and it is certainly a pleasure to be here. It is only the beginning. The team fought to the end to win the three points. Great victory.”
NYCFC will have a three-week break and won’t play again until it hosts the New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena Saturday, June 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET.