LAFC 3-3 Philadelphia Union summary: score, goals, highlights, 2022 MLS Cup Final
LAFC MLS Cup winners 2022: as it happened
What a Hollywood ending in Los Angeles as LAFC win their first ever MLS Cup in dramatic fashion with a penalty shoot out win over a brave Philadelphia Union side.
What drama here in Los Angeles as LAFC win on a penalty shoot out.... Ecstasy for the Black & Gold and heartbreak for the Union ...
LAFC are MLS Cup 2022 winners
Sanchez to take .... the Spaniard to win it and he scores.....
2-0 LAFC ahead on pks
Philly have to score now to keep in the race.... no McCarthy saves again...
Advantage LAFC 1-0 after two kicks ... Hollingshead scores for LA
Pressure now on the Union as Martinez will shoot next for the visitors.... steps up and has his effort saved
Philly up next and it's going to be Gazdag... the Hungarian slips and fires over....
Tello to take for LAFC, first player up for the Black and Gold...... The No.37 misses with a tame effort and Burke saves
The spotlight falls on keepers McCarthy and Burke....
The shootout will take place in front of the 3252 fans end....
What a game, what it lacked on quality it certainly made up for in drama....
Twists and turns, red cards and an unlikely hero for LAFC as Gareth Bale headed home to make it 3-3 in the last minutes of extra time.
Bale clears the ball as the whistle sounds and it's a penalty shoot out...
We've had the 9 added minutes as the Union win a corner... what price a Jack Elliot hattrick??
What an end to this MLS Cup Final ....
Baleeeeeeeeeee. Incredible ...the Welsh man heads LAFC level.... you couldn't make it up !
So, for the first time on the day, the Union are in front and at this stage of the game, it's difficult to see ten man LAFC mount a late revival.
The Union score and Elliot forces the ball home.... Philly lead 2-3
Philly turning the screw now as they look to avail of the extra man with tired legs apparent now as the clock ticks down.
Donovan replaces Burke for Philly
Burke looks to be in trouble and seems that the Jamaican cannot continue with 8 minutes of added time to used.
Another poor free from Philly and despite 118 minutes on the clock, this game will run through to at least 128-130.
McCarthy on now and Opoku is replaced.
So, LAFC will be down to ten minutes for what is left of the final. Nice gesture from Crepeau as he gives a 'thumbs up'
Game still being held up as Crepeau is treated and the ref now has a red card out and it appears that the Canadian stopper will also be sent off.
Sad moment for the Canadian who leaves the pitch on a stretcher.
McCarthy warming up for LAFC. Burke is back on his feet but the same can't be said for Crepeau.
Once again, it was a sloppy pass that led to Burke running onto the ball with the LAFC keeper forced to spring into action.
Bad news here as Crepeau clips Burke. The ref could have awarded a red to the Canadian keeper and immediately the physio calls for a change. Heartbreak for the 'Les Rouges' stopper who was destined to head to Qatar with the Maple Leaves in a matter of weeks.
Burke too looks to be in trouble.
So, for the final time today, the game is underway again with the Union starting the final 15 minutes of the final
The whistle sounds and still no goal that seperates the teams.
Carranza with a great chance as the striker heads a looping ball that almost creeps into the net.
Tello down the other goal mouth forces a fine save from Blake and the final minutes of the end of extra time see the game spark into life again.
Into the final five minutes of the first half of extra time... A further 15 will ensue after a brief break and then penalty kicks will be used to decide the winner.
Bale flicks the ball into the danger zone but Blake in the Union goal is alert and gathers
Vela off with Bale his replacement
Martinez has a go from range but no trouble for the LAFC keeper
Vela has faded as the game moves on and it looks like Gareth Bale will get a runout....What a moment this could be for the Welsh striker
What an error from Blake in the Union goal but he saved as the ball just runs out of play and a let-off for the visiting side.
LAFC starting well at the start of extra time
It's been a game with plenty of swings in dominance as the Union have been much better in the second half.
Tello is on for LAFC with Acosta making way... The home start the extra time
The whistle sounds and we'll have a further 30 minutes of extra time to decide a winner.
Last minute of the action and a final chance for LAFC who have ended the game the stronger side.
Vela draws a foul from Martinez and the Union will need to be alert here. The Mexican to strike....
The Union fail to deal with delivery and Inheaga could have sealed it there.
Three of the seven played and still no breakthrough here
Carranza carded for a shove on Ibheaga
We're going to have 7 minutes of added time.
The second half has been a brighter 45' with a cagey and lackluster first half... Plenty of drama and the Union playing with a higher sense of belief.
Ibheaga carded for a foul and with three minutes left, Philly win a dangerous free.
Wagner takes and forces the LAFC keeper to fist away.
And the Union are level....2-2
Murillo with a thunderous header from the corner....Just when it seemed that the home side were starting to struggle...
LAFC corner and the ball is in the back of the Union net.... 2-1
Now it's LAFC's turn to look casual with the ball as the Union have grown into the game
This is the best spell of the game for Philly and one can sense a degree of nervousness creeping into the Banc of California Stadium with the home fans now anxious and a lull in the noise levels from The 3252 fans.
We're into the final 15 minutes and neither side will want to take any risks now as LAFC certainly do not look as composed as they did in the first half.
LAFC change as Arango makes way for Opoku
Tempers starting to fray ever so slightly now as the clock ticks down.
Can either side find a winner here at the Banc of California Stadium?
Burke is on and Uhre makes way for the No.19 with the Union's first change of the day.
The game lacks a degree of shape at the moment with both teams getting subs ready as we head towards the 70th minute.
Carlos Vela is carded for heated protests.
Should stay as they are with the 1-1 scoreline, then we'd go to an additional 30 minutes of extra time to find a winner.
The goal coming against the run of play and the Hungarian was the most alert as Martinez's poor shot fell right to the Union No. 6.
Gooooool Philly draw level ... Gazdag finishes after a Martinez shot is picked up and the Union are level with their first effort on target.
Now Mbazio is down and needs medical attention. The Philly player collided into a LAFC defender with the flow of the game very much stunted with the protocol being activated for head injuries.
Elliot clips Arango and the Colombian needs treatment after being caught with a stray elbow. LAFC players appealing for a card with Jack Elliot the only man on the pitch with a caution.
Today's game seems to be decided on the team that makes less errors with both teams guilty of wayward balls. The Union still to register a shot on target and we've played more than 50 minutes of this MLS Cup Final.
Glesnes guilty of two sloppy passes and it's that lack of quality that has been Philly's downfall today.
A positive start from the Union as they look to use the flanks. Certainly the Union failed to use the width of the pitch in the first half.
The Union need to get that early goal in the second half to find themselves back in the contest. A major test awaits Jim Curtin's side as LAFC are edging closer to their first ever MLS Cup.
The Black and Gold start the half.
The whistle sounds and at the break it's LAFC ahead with the breakthrough coming just before the 30 minute mark.
Philly have been sluggish and will need to be at their best in the second 45' to try and turn things around.
Last minutes of the half and the Union have yet to have a shot on target and trail to the deflected Kellyn Acosta goal.
One minute of time to be added.
The Union break following a misplaced pass and Uhre is through on goal but shepherded out by the men in black. The ball breaks down to the LAFC attackers and Arango shoots over. The Danish striker seems sluggish and lacks that burst of pace to outrun the LAFC defence.
Vela almost latches onto an excellent cross field ball from Acosta but the Mexican is just inches away from connecting.
Glesnes fouls Vela and LAFC win a free in a not dissimilar area to that from where Acosta fired home.
Arango and Vela over the ball... The Colombian strikes and the ball goes straight into the wall as the ball falls to Bouanga and Blake saves well.
The Union really are struggling to find any way past the men in black. The LAFC rearguard does look like a well drilled unit giving little away to the visitors.
Elliot drives the ball straight at the wall and the move breaks down. Limited conviction from the Union defender in the strike.
That goal seems to have shaken the game from the lethargy as the energy levels on the pitch and in the stands have cranked up a notch.
Now the Union win a free as Uhre is clipped just outside the box.....
Can Philly reply from their own free-kick?
Everyone was looking at Vela and it was the US international who saw his drive clip McGlynn and end up in the Union net.
Acosta takes the free and finds the net..with the aid of a defelction.
The game has still yet to really ignite with little in the way of goalmouth action and neither keeper yet to really be tested as Arango is caught just outside the Philly box. Very much Carlos Vela range.
Both teams cancelling one another out in the opening 24 minutes or so.
Crepeau comes for the ball and the Canadian stopper misses it totally as the ball falls to a man in sky blue but the ball is blazed high and wide.
A cagey start from both teams with neither side able to create clear cut chances with the defenders on both sides looking solid.
Possession after 16 minutes: LAFC 37-63 Union (%)
The Union seem to have shaken off those early game nerves and are now very collected looking as they pass the ball around with poise.
A stupid error from Elliot sees the Union defender booked as he luges at Hollingshead and is carded for taking out the LAFC player.
First decent chance of the night as Vela shoots from just inside the box and the ball takes a deflection from a Philly player and to LAFC fans' disgust, the home side are not awarded a corner.
There are about 500 Union fans packed into the away sector but one can spot many supporters decked out in Philadelphia shirts dotted around the 22,000 capacity Banc of California stadium.
Philly struggle to get to grips with the opening and seem to be happy to thump the ball down field.
A cross is delivered and the Union win a corner....the first of the day...
Wagner takes but Cifuentes clears the danger.
A nervy start from the Union as they misplace a serie of passes and it's the home side who look more comfotbale with the surroundings.
The 2022 MLS Cup final is underway and it's the Union who start the game.
A reminder of the teams as kick-off is just minutes away....
No Bedoya for the Union with Chiellini on the bench too for LA.
A smart Manga tifo emerges from the 3252 fan end and we're all set....
- 18Andre Blake
- 15Olivier Mbaizo
- 5Jakob Glesnes
- 3Jack Elliott
- 27Kai Wagner
- 8Jose Martinez
- 6Daniel Gazdag
- 16Jack Mcglynn
- 31Leon Flach
- 7Mikkel Uhre
- 0Julián Carranza
- CoachJim Curtins
- 20Jesús Bueno
- 19Cory Burke
- 1Matt Freese
- 2Matthew Real
- 33Q. Sullivan
- 25C. Donovan
- 26N. Harriel
- 30P. Aaronson
- 16Maxime Crépeau
- 3Jesús Murillo
- 12Diego Palacios
- 25Sebastien Ibeagha
- 24Ryan Hollingshead
- 20José Cifuentes
- 23Kellyn Acosta
- 9Cristian Arango
- 99Denis Bouanga
- CoachSteven Cherundolos
- 32Jhegson Méndez
- 77John McCarthy
- 2Franco Escobar
- 4Eddie Segura
- 7Latif Blessing
- 22K. Opoku
The teams take to the field as MLS Commissioner Don Garber greets each of the 22 players.
First up will be the national anthem performed by Dinah Jane.
So who will be the 15th MLS Cup winner?
The neutrals seem to feel that home advantage will tilt the tie in the way of the Los Angeles outfit.
Will the usual lively and passionate atmosphere be the determining factor in driving the home side over the line?
Last three LAFC vs Philadelphia meetings
Recent games between tonight's finalists have been close run contests with the past three meetings ending in ties.
I anticipate today's game being no different and expect a single goal to separate the sides.
LAFC 2-2 Philadelphia (8 May 2022)
LAFC 3-3 Philadelphia (9 March 2020)
LAFC 1-1 Philadelphia (15 September 2019)
Today's MLS Cup uniforms
Today, LAFC will sport their traditional all black kit with gold trims. Away side, Philadelphia will wear their sky blue jerseys and yellow shorts.
'Magic' is in the house
Former LA Laker Earvin 'Magic' Johnson is in attendance at the Banc of California Stadium looking resplendent in the LAFC 'black and gold'.
Despite the official kick-off being shown as 1pm (PT), like many MLS games, it's anticipated that the game will start at 1:15 PT.
Should things be level at the end of 90 minutes tonight, then we'll have a further 30 minutes of extra time and should there still be a stalemate then we'll go to penalty kicks to decide the winner of the 2022 MLS Cup.
Cherundolo confirms LAFC XI
The LAFC team that will play in the final has been confirmed by coach Steve Cherundolo as, once again Vela, Arango and Bouanga lead the line, as they did last Sunday against Austin.
A blow for LA as Giorgio Chiellini starts on the bench. The Italian did seem to have sustained a knock last week in the semi-final with ice being applied as soon as he left the field.
Union XI confirmed
The visitors are the first team to confirm their starting XI for the 2022 MLS Cup final with Bedoya, as expected on the bench.
Daniel Gazdag, Dane Mikael Uhre and Carranza will offer the attacking threat for the Union today.
Alejandro Bedoya to start?
The big question for the Union is whether their captain Alejandro Bedoya will be fit to play against LAFC today. The former US international is carrying a hip injury, which forced him off in the Eastern Conference win over New York City FC.
“He’s doing everything he can to be involved in the game,” Curtin said when asked about Bedoya pre-match. “You never know when you’re going to get an opportunity like this.”
From the pre-game footage we have seen, it looks like the veteran will not be starting in LA today with the captain dressed in different pre-game gear to the rest of the Union players.
As we await the official team news, this is how we think LAFC will line-up tonight:
Crépeau; Hollingshead, Murillo, Chiellini, Palacios; Cifuentes, Sánchez, Acosta; Vela, Arango, Bouanga.
This we expect to be the Union XI:
Blake; Mbaizo, Glesnes, Elliott, Wagner; McGlynn, Martinez, Flach; Gazdag; Carranza, Uhre.
3252 stand filling up
With just over an hour to kick-off, the North stand of the Banc of California is almost full where the boisterous 3252 fan-group are based.
MLS Cup Final weather
The sun is shining in the City of Angels with no rain forecast for the game. The temperature is a mild 66F-19C which makes for ideal conditions for players and fans alike.
Today's match official
Ismail Elfath will take charge of today's 2022 MLS Cup final between LAFC and Philadelphia Union at Banc of California Stadium and will be assisted by referees Corey Rockwell and Ian Anderson. Joe Dickerson is the fourth official, with Drew Fischer and Jeff Muschik as VAR and AVAR. Jeffrey Greeson is the reserve assistant referee.
Elfath is a two-time MLS Referee of the Year - and refereed the MLS is Back Tournament Final in 2020 – the same season he received his first Referee of the Year award before winning the accolade again in 2022.
He’s also taken charge of three previous Conference Finals and refereed the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, as well as at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Both sides only came face to face once this regular season with LAFC needing a late goal from Escobar to secure a 2-2 draw at the Banc of California stadium when they met in May.
Conference winners meet in 2022 final
For the first time since 2003, the Western and Eastern Conference winners meet in an MLS Cup Final. On that occasion, almost two decades ago, San Jose beat Chicago 2-4 in the final.
Home advantage on side of LAFC
In all the MLS Cup Final games not played at a neutral venue, the title has been won by the home side in all instances apart from three with two of those games being resolved from the penalty spot.
Previous MLS Cup finals not played at neutral venue:
2021: Portland Timbers 1-1 New York City FC*
2020: Columbus Crew 3-0 Seattle Sounders
2019: Seattle Sounders 3-1 Toronto FC
2018: Atlanta United 2-0 Portland Timbers
2017: Toronto FC 2-0 Seattle Sounders
2016: Toronto FC 0-0 Seattle Sounders*
2015: Columbus Crew 1-2 Portland Timbers
2014: LA Galaxy 2-1 New England Revolution
2013: Sporting KC* 1-1 Real Salt Lake
2012: LA Galaxy 3-1 Houston Dynamo
2011: LA Galaxy 1-0 Houston Dynamo
1997: D.C. United 2-1 Colorado Rapids
* win on penalty kicks
Why are LAFC playing the final at home?
As is the case throughout MLS’ single-elimination playoffs, the higher-seeded team is given hosting rights in the trophy decider. Postseason seedings are based on franchises’ regular-season performance: the top-ranked team in the combined Eastern and Western Conference standings is the No. 1 seed, the second-placed side is the No. 2 seed, and so on.
Having finished first in the regular-season table - a feat that earned them the title of Supporters’ Shield champions - LAFC are the playoffs’ top seeds. Steve Cherundolo’s men went into the postseason knowing they would play every game at their 22,000-capacity Banc of California Stadium, regardless of who they met.
LAFC fans in fine voice
A sizeable group of black clad LAFC fans have undergone their corteo on their way to the Banc of California stadium enjoying the sunny November LA weather as the clock ticks down to kick-off.
The Philip F. Anschutz trophy will see a new name engraved on it's winners list tonight with neither LAFC or The Union winning the trophy previously with tonight's game the first MLS Cup Final that both franchises have been involved in.
The action in downtown LA gets underway at 1pm (PT) or 4 pm (ET) with a 2100 CET start.
Hello and a very warm welcome to our live coverage of the 2022 MLS Cup Final as LAFC face Philadelphia Union at the Banc of California Stadium.