Dejan Joveljic pushes Galaxy past NYCFC

League: MLS

Posted on: 20 Jun, 2024 at 04:57 AM

Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Dejan Joveljic scored his team-leading 11th goal just before halftime and contributed an assist just after to help the LA Galaxy ease to a 2-0 victory over visiting New York City FC on Wednesday night.

Diego Fagundez also scored in the Galaxy's fourth consecutive home win and fourth win out of five overall as LA (9-3-7, 34 points) moved even with LAFC on points into a virtual tie for second place in the Western Conference.

John McCarthy made four stops for the hosts, who kept only their fourth clean sheet of the season and only their second in a victory.

Gabriel Pec picked up a secondary assist on Fagundez's goal and was influential in the sequence leading to Joveljic's opener.

NYCFC (9-7-2, 29 points) suffered its second consecutive defeat after having won eight of its previous nine matches.

The Cityzens led 13-11 in overall shots but trailed 5-4 in efforts on target while being held scoreless for the first time since a 2-0 home loss to Colorado on May 5.

Joveljic's goal tied his previous MLS season high from 2022, and his performance continued a strong stretch in which he's had two goal involvements in each of his last three starts.

On Wednesday night, he had Pec to thank for his goal after the Brazilian intercepted NYCFC defender James Sands' pass in the Galaxy attacking end and immediately launched a quick counter.

Defenders blocked Pec's initial shot, but the rebound fell kindly to Joveljic, who finished calmly past goalkeeper Matt Freese in the 41st minute.

Both men were involved when the Galaxy added to their margin in the 49th minute on a quick counter. First Pec streamed into space to reach an outlet pass down the right flank, then found Joveljic with an underlapping run toward the right corner.

Joveljic dragged his cross back toward the penalty arc, where Fagundez met it in full stride to bend a first-time finish beyond Freese's dive.

City tried to send numbers forward in the latter stages and find a way back into the game, but the Galaxy continued to look like the team more likely to score. It took an impressive late diving stop from Freese to ensure Pec didn't add his sixth goal of his first MLS campaign.

--Field Level Media