Second half goals from Blas Perez and Tesho Akindele sunk LA as FC Dallas overcame a Gyasi Zardes header to beat the Galaxy 2-1 Saturday night.
Mindful of the danger Fabian Castillo and the FC Dallas attack presented, Bruce decided to introduce a 4-5-1 formation with Tommy Meyer relieving AJ DeLaGarza and Nacho Maganto slotted underneath Gyasi Zardes up top. FC Dallas trotted out their usual 4-2-3-1 minus a few changes, namely Blas Perez replacing David Texiera as the lone forward.
The first half wasn't the most exciting soccer as FC Dallas were patient in the buildup but having trouble penetrating the Galaxy defense. As has been the case lately, the Galaxy struggled to get any offense going.
In the 20th minute, Gyasi Zardes was alone on top of the 18 and tried to place a left footed shot in the corner, but the attempt was weak and it curved wide. FCD almost scored minutes later when Ryan Hollingshead took advantage of a broken play inside the Galaxy box, collecting and cutting inside Dan Gargan before firing a shot that smacked off the post before spinning out.
Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo has been on fire lately, and it was no surprise he made several quality saves tonight as well. With Omar Gonzalez and Dan Gargan backpedaling to contain Fabian Castillo, the Columbian darted right and curved a bender that was heading for the side netting, but Penedo dove in time to parry the ball wide. Right before halftime, Penedo stood tall to redirect Castillo's powerful blast from close range over the bar.
Controversy briefly ensued when LA thought they had gone ahead. Nacho Maganto outmuscled a FCD defender to a clearance inside the box and fired a low shot past goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, but Tommy Meyer was correctly ruled to have interfered on the play.
FC Dallas subbed in Tesho Akindele for Ryan Hollingshead at the half as FC Dallas pressed for a goal. Surprisingly however, it was the Galaxy who went ahead in the 58th minute off a relative simple play. Stefan Ishizaki swerved a corner kick near post and Gyasi Zardes neatly nodded the ball into the side netting for the opener.
Turning up the heat, Dallas began to press with more purpose, and after several near-misses equalized off a moment of individual brilliance from Argentine playmaker Mauro Diaz. On the top of the box, Diaz faked a shot that sent Juninho sprawling before cutting inside. With the Galaxy back four flat-footed, Diaz scooped a ball over the top to Blaz Perez who chested the ball past Penedo and poked home.
FCD continued to press, and tragedy struck for LA late when FC Dallas completed the comeback. The ever influential Mauro Diaz switched the ball to Akindele on a dime deep on the Galaxy end of the field, and Akindele calmly engaged Dan Gargan with space to maneuver before sneaking a far post shot into the net.
LA briefly travel home before heading to Orlando to play OCSC next week.