LAFC 2-2 New York Red Bulls: Player ratings as Bouanga snatches late point for the Black and Gold

  • LAFC and New York Red Bulls played to an entertaining 2-2 draw Saturday night
  • Denis Bouanga bagged a brace and scored in stoppage time to steal a point for the Black and Gold
  • Emil Forsberg shone for the visiting Red Bulls and thought he had scored a late winner in the 81st minute
Denis Bouanga came up clutch for LAFC
Denis Bouanga came up clutch for LAFC / Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Denis Bouanga found the back of the net deep into stoppage time to cancel out Emil Forsberg's would-be winner in LAFC's 2-2 draw against New York Red Bulls at BMO Stadium.

It was an enthralling encounter between the two clubs from the first minute. Forsberg and Lewis Morgan were linking up well in the opening minutes, putting the LAFC defense on high alert. Frankie Amaya's exquisite pass released Morgan into the Black and Gold's final third, and he then squared a pass across the face of goal that Dante Vanzeir was about to finish off had Aaron Long not stepped in at the last minute.

However, Long ended up sustaining a leg injury during the last-ditch block. The USMNT figure came sliding in to deny Vanzeir and smacked into the goal post and was forced to exit the game with Eddie Segura replacing him in the eighth minute.

On the ensuing corner kick, Dylan Nealis's cross was so inviting that Segura just couldn't help himself and unfortunately headed the ball into his own net, giving the visitors an early lead.

Red Bulls were pressing hard for a second as the clock ticked on in the second half but were just off with the final pass. LAFC, however, finally decided to start trying to score a goal when Bouanga was clipped in the New York penalty area by Sean Nealis. Referee Guido Gonzalez immediately pointed to the penalty spot and -- after a lengthy VAR check -- Bouanga added his fourth goal of the season from 12 yards out to level the score.

As Red Bulls found the opening goal from a corner kick, they would also go on to find their second of the game from a corner kick with roughly 10 minutes to go in normal time. This time it wasn't an LAFC player putting the ball in their own net -- instead, Forsberg pounced on a loose ball right in front of and powered it home to give New York a 2-1 lead late on.

LAFC weren't going down without a fight, though. Sergi Palencia sent in a dangerous cross that fell to the feet of Bouanga, and the Gabon international's powerful strike found the back of the net after it took a deflection of Noah Eile. Bouanga's late strike was enough to seal a point for LAFC while it more than likely felt like a defeat for Red Bulls.

LAFC player ratings (4-3-3)

Mateusz Bogusz started in the middle of the park
Mateusz Bogusz started in the middle of the park / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

GK: Hugo Lloris - 6/10 - Couldn't do much about Segura heading the ball into his own net. His backline stepped up in the second half up until they switched off for Forsberg's strike.

RB: Sergi Palencia - 6/10 - Quiet for most of the game but was influential in the latter stages with his dangerous cross that found Bouanga.

CB: Maxime Chanot - 7/10 - Didn't look out of place in his first start for the Black and Gold.

CB: Aaron Long - 7/10 - Denied Vanzeir a sure-fire goal but unfortunately suffered an injury in doing so.

LB: Ryan Hollingshead - 7/10 - Found himself in a few favorable attacking positions but failed to make the most of them.

CM: Tim Tillman - 7/10 - Had a much bigger impact on the game in the second half after a timid first 45.

CM: Ilie Sanchez - 7/10 - The 33-year-old picked up the pace in the second 45 after a lackluster first half.

CM: Mateusz Bogusz - 6/10 - An underwhelming performance from the versatile Bogusz.

RW: Cristian Olivera - 6/10 - Was LAFC's best forward in the first half but failed to replicate that same level of performance in the second 45.

ST: Kei Kamara - 6/10 - The veteran forward was a bit sluggish on the ball that resulted in missed opportunities for the hosts.

LW: Denis Bouanga - 9/10 - The reigning Golden Boot winner found it difficult to create chances early on but made no mistake on his converted penalty and leveled the score with a bit of luck.


SUB: Eddie Segura (8' for Long) - 5/10 - What happened right after his was subbed on was nightmare material. It was a well-placed header, just on the wrong side of the field.

SUB: Nathan Ordaz (70' for Kamara) - 6/10 - His touch was all over the place which resulted in LAFC losing possession a few times.

SUB: Omar Campos (89' for Olivera) - N/A

SUB: Luis Muller (89' for Segura) - N/A


Steve Cherundolo - 6/10 - LAFC continue to struggle to put a full 90 minutes together (outside of their 5-0 thrashing of Nashville SC) and they probably should've been beaten by New York. All good coaches rely on their star players, but if Bouanga's form dips, who will he rely on to carry LAFC?

New York Red Bulls player ratings (4-4-2)

Emil Forsberg shined for New York
Emil Forsberg shined for New York / Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

GK: Carlos Coronel - 6/10 - Came up with a couple of huge saves but there wasn't much he could do to keep out the two goals.

RB: Dylan Nealis - 7/10 - His cross was the one that led to the own goal of favor of New York. Defended valiantly against the electric Bouanga.

CB: Sean Nealis - 5/10 - Clumsy defending saw him bring down Bouanga in his own penalty area that covered up what was a solid performance for the most part.

CB: Noah Eile - 6/10 - The young defender continues to improve game by game in his first season in MLS. He was unlucky to be in the path of Bouanga's late strike as he unfortunately helped guide it into the net.

LB: John Tolkin - 7/10 - Stood tall when he came up against Olivera and limited the chances LAFC created on his side of the field.

RM: Wikelman Carmona - 6/10 - Wasteful with the ball when he received it in wide areas.

CM: Frankie Amaya - 7/10 - Excellent in possession as his pin-point through ball led to the corner kick that Red Bulls profited from.

CM: Daniel Edelman - 7/10 - Another solid showing in the middle of the park from the 20-year-old who plays like he's been a professional for over a decade.

LM: Emil Forsberg - 8/10 - A constant threat to the LAFC defense when he drifted inside to link up with Morgan and Vanzeir.

ST: Dante Vanzeir - 6/10 - Should've done better with his early chance in front of goal and he was lacking sharpness up front.

ST: Lewis Morgan - 7/10 - Linked up well with Forsberg in the early stages but faded as the game wore on.


SUB: Elias Manoel (79' for Vanzeir) - N/A

SUB: Wikelman Carmona (79' for Gjengaar) - N/A

SUB: Kyle Duncan (88' for Forsberg) - N/A

SUB: Cameron Harper (90' for Morgan) - N/A


Sandro Schwarz - 8/10 - His Red Bulls were impressive for the most part against a tough LAFC side that usually win at home. He managed the game well but individual errors cost his side three points.

Player of the match - Denis Bouanga (LAFC)