The Galaxy and Real Salt Lake drew in a slugfest at Rio Tinto Stadium Wednesday night, putting LA and RSL tied for points in 2nd place of the Western Conference with 44 apiece.
Despite missing the likes of Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard and Jelle Van Damme, the Galaxy came out to play, and in just the 6th minute, LA were ahead. After evading a challenge, Giovani dos Santos weighed a perfect through ball to Emmanuel Boateng, who raced down the field past a hapless Jamison Olave before sliding a simple finish past a beleaguered Rimando to hand LA the early lead.
In the 26th minute, Brian Rowe managed to cradle a dangerous Javier Morales free kick attempt during a sequence when Olave threw a punch at Daniel Steres and should have been sent off.
The second half looked promising at first, but then Rowe got caught on the ball and gave up a penalty kick after clumsily tackling Joao Plata, who converted down the center to tie the match.
Real Salt Lake surged forward, and after Yura Movsisyan narrowly missed a breakaway opportunity, LA were in real trouble.
But the Galaxy offense would come to life. Baggio Husidic played a beautiful long ball from the midfield to a streaking dos Santos, and the Mexican international let the pass run across his body before unleashing a low shot that hit Rimando but pinged off the post and in.
In the 67th minute, dos Santos would complete his brace, pouncing on a Larentowicz poke from close range that slammed off the crossbar before Gio once again fired a low shot off the right post and in as Rio Tinto turned into a library.
Not that the match was over by any stretch. Joao Plata took advantage of lax marking inside the Galaxy area, accepting a Movsisyan cutback and roofing a quick shot into Rowe’s net to narrow the lead.
Despite hanging on by a thread and Row making several huge stops, LA looked like they would hold on, but a deflected shot by Burrito Martinez got under Rowe’s outstretched hands to hand RSL a share of the points.