NYCFC (11-7-8) maintained its lead in the Eastern Conference over Toronto FC with the team’s fourth consecutive match without a loss, while LA Galaxy (9-4-11) had its nine-game unbeaten streak snapped.
With the match in its early stages, Villa pounced on the rebound of a shot by Ronald Matarrita that LA Galaxy goalkeeper Clement Diop got a piece of and tapped in from the edge of the six for his MLS-leading 16th goal of the season.
Villa had an opportunity for a second goal in the 35th minute. Andrea Pirlo picked off a Daniel Steres attempted clearance and slipped a pass to Villa, whose first shot was saved by Diop. Villa’s second chance with his left foot went off the outside netting.
Both teams went end-to-end two minutes from halftime with Josh Saunders batting away a Nigel De Jong bicycle kick and Diop parrying away a Jack Harrison shot for an NYCFC corner.
Harrison put a shot just over the crossbar from 20 yards out in the 66th minute. Ten minutes later, Pirlo put a free kick from 22 yards out over the net.
Below: Christian Lattanzio discusses NYCFC’s win over the LA Galaxy.