Minnesota United earns 1-1 draw with MLS-leading LAFC

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Michael Boxall scored the tying goal with a no-look header in the 75th minute for Minnesota United, which took a 1-1 draw with MLS-leading Los Angeles FC on Sunday night but fell short of securing a home game for the first round of the playoffs.

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Jan Gregus sent a free kick flying over the defense, and Boxall knocked it in with a leap that had his back turned to goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega. Carlos Vela matched the MLS season goal record with his 31st in the 70th minute for LAFC (20-4-9). Vela tied the mark set last year by Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez.

Minnesota United (15-10-8), which beat Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday night to clinch a postseason spot in for the first time since joining the league as an expansion club in 2017, finished 10-1-6 at home in its first year at futuristic Allianz Field. The Loons remained in second place in the Western Conference, but they’re now tied with Seattle with 53 points. The Los Angeles Galaxy have 51 points, and Real Salt Lake has 50 points. LAFC has secured a bye, and the next three teams will host a first-round playoff game.

LAFC, which clinched the MLS Supporters’ Shield trophy for the best regular-season record by beating Houston in its last match on Wednesday, is 12-1-3 at home. The only loss was 2-0 to the Loons on Sept. 1, when Vela was out with a hamstring injury. Vela has 31 goals in 30 games this season, two more than Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the league lead.

LAFC is 1-1-5 in its last seven matches.