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LA Galaxy stunned in U.S. Open Cup semifinal defeat

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Galaxy completely collapsed in the final five minutes of extra time, giving up two goals off a pair of corner kicks and losing 2-1 in stunning fashion in the 2016 U.S. Open Cup semifinal round Wednesday night at the StubHub Center. 

Bruce Arena decided to field a second-string lineup, while Oscar Pareja put out his strongest starting eleven.

The first half was an exciting back and forth affair. Dallas dominated the opening 15 minutes, then LA had a few golden opportunities to score. Raul Mendiola did brilliantly to break open in the midfield and evade the FCD defense before locating Alan Gordon on the right side of the box, but though Gordon's low shot beat Seitz, defender Atiba Harris read the play and slid to block the shot at the last-second. Gordon got his head on the corner, but the attempt was high.

Soon afterwards, the dangerous Emmanuel Boateng found space on the left channel before placing a measured ball for the rushing Mike Magee inside the box, but from point-blank range, goalkeeper Chris Seitz did well to palm away the shot.

FC Dallas had their opportunities, as Brian Rowe had to use smart positioning to make tough saves on Barrios and Maximililano Urruti in quick succession.

LA escaped early in the second half when Walter Zimmerman got open off a corner kick and glanced a header just wide of Rowe's goalpost. The Galaxy's best chance came when Boateng raced down the field with only Kellyn Acosta preventing a breakaway, but Boateng pulled up outside the 18 and released a low shot that Seitz easily saved.

Giovani dos Santos and Gyasi Zardes were subbed on but unable to muster much as the game headed to extra time.

However in extra time, the duo would combine for the game's opening goal: After Zardes was the latest Galaxy attacker to find space down the middle of the field, he found the feet of dos Santos, who promptly drew a PK after Seitz tried to close down the angle, and Magee expertly converted the penalty to his right to give LA what looked to be a game-winning goal.

And yet, the Galaxy completely collapsed off a pair of corner kicks in the final five minutes. First Matt Hedges was the one to put away an easy header, then Victor Ulloa tucked away a finish between Ashley Cole and the right post to send FCD into the final at LA's expense.