LA finally broke a six-match winless streak, giving Bruce Arena his 200th victory as the LA Galaxy defeated the Columbus Crew on a picturesque Saturday night at the StubHub Center.
Bruce Arena put out a progressively attacking lineup featuring Raul Mendiola making his first career MLS start, while AJ DeLaGarza returned to a familiar position at center back.
Right away a Larentowicz turnover was almost punished by a lightning quick counter-attack, but in the end Dily Duka’s shot was straight at Rowe. On the other side of the field, Magee located a free Sebastian Lletget at the top of the area, but he rushed his shot, pulling the attempt wide right of Steve Clark’s net.
In the 13rd minute, Rowe pulled off a spectacular save to deny Ethan Finley from point-blank range.
The action was end to end, but neither team could break the deadlock. Ethan Finlay somehow got free for a header yards from goal, but improbably mistimed the contact of his header, gifting Rowe an easy save. The Galaxy had several half-chances, but never managed to seriously threaten Columbus, while Brian Rowe piled up save after save.
The second half was more of the same, with both sides eager to get on the scoresheet. In the 61st minute, LA had their first real dangerous opportunity when dos Santos raced down the right sideline before cutting a pass back for Robbie Rogers, but when Rogers found Lletget for the quick shot, Clark was quick to spring at the ball and make the crucial save.
Minutes later, Boateng went on one of his trademark sprints down the center of the park, but his low attempt skimmed a foot wide of the target.
However, just when it seemed the Galaxy were doomed to another dour draw, in the 78th minute Baggio Husidic slammed a rocket from outside the left corner of the box past a stunned Clark and into the net to send the home crowd into a frenzy.
Four minutes later in the 82nd, Giovani dos Santos raced onto a turnover and easily scooped a chip over Clark to double LA’s lead.
Columbus would draw a penalty in stoppage time, but although Rowe made the save, Adam Jahn rifled the rebound into the goal to briefly lend the Crew hope.
But soon the final whistle blew, and just like that, the long winless streak was vanquished.