There were multiple touchpoints in a very tight game that are sure to be contentious among the Galaxy on the day, with most calls or non-calls going against LA, particularly on the winning goal by the opposition.
Guillermo Barros Schelotto started Yony Gonzalez up top again, with Chicharito a scratch due to a reported hamstring injury picked up in training. Jonathan dos Santos and Rolf Feltscher both returned to the XI after recent international duty.
Diego Rossi nearly scored in the 11th minute for LAFC, as his one-timer off Jose Cifuentes’ cross clanged off the crossbar and bounced away, saving the Galaxy’s blushes.
The game transformed in the 25th minute. Diego Rossi was fouled by Giancarlo Gonzalez, and it was originally called a red card and a penalty. The referee switched it to a yellow card for “double jeopardy” but then a VAR review reversed the whole thing, with the penalty changed to a foul outside the box, where the contact occurred and Gonzalez getting a red card for denial of an obvious goalscoring opportunity, taking the Galaxy down to 10 men.
Nick DePuy replaced Yony Gonzalez in the 31st minute as LA looked to regroup while down a man.
It might be a stretch to say the Galaxy were significantly better after going down a man, but they weathered the rest of the first half pretty well, their low block leaving LAFC stymied and Jonathan Klinsmann posting four saves through 45 minutes.
Sacha Kljestan had a vital play in the 54th minute, as he saved Cifuentes’ shot off the line, and then the Galaxy were fortunate moments later when Eddie Segura’s shot for LAFC trickled off the inside of the post and stayed out of the goal.
But the dam broke in the 58th minute, when Danny Musovski scored for LAFC, on a quick play down the middle, the young striker chipping Klinsmann, who came well off his line to try and snuff out the chance. But LA will feel aggrieved, because it looked like the ball went all the way out of bounds just prior to the buildup. The Galaxy argued with the non-call as the play unfolded, and the goal went to a VAR review, but the goal was upheld.
Bradley Wright-Phillips came off the bench and scored in the 83rd minute for LAFC, but a VAR review this time went in the Galaxy’s favor, as the goal was chalked off for Wright-Phillips being offside in the buildup. But Vela scored in stoppage time to seal up the win.
I think the Galaxy defended valiantly but they never posted a shot on target until second-half stoppage time. Some of that was due to the game state, of course, but while LAFC allowed them to stay in the game throughout, they never capitalized on it. I think the fight was there but Gonzalez’s red card (which was deserved) was a killer, and I think LA can feel aggrieved about the non-call on the goal. Sometimes an unlucky bounce makes the difference, and this was the ultimate difference in the game.
The Galaxy will next travel to Portland to take on the Portland Timbers again, on Wednesday. LA have had success at Providence Park this season, can they get another result there? Time will tell.
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