If LA Galaxy II had any illusions they might have had an easy game coming in on Wednesday against the winless Sporting Kansas City II, they were mistaken, as the battle of the MLS2 teams led to a 1-1 draw at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Jorge Hernandez scored his third goal of the young season to tie up the game for Los Dos, who were forced to settle for a point as SKCII not only had a strong defensive performance but also took the lead, somewhat against the run of play.
Junior Gonzalez used a familiar group to start on the night, with Cameron Dunbar joining Kai Koreniuk as a first team player coming down for the night, both players starting as the wingers for Los Dos.
Here. We. Go.— LA Galaxy II (@LAGalaxyII) May 20, 2021
Your Starting XI for #LAvSKC ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/jS2OyquJpL
The first half was pretty tight, with much of the game played in the middle third and Sporting playing a very compact shape, making it hard for Los Dos to play through.
It looked as though SKCII’s Dominik Resetar had the opening goal in the 20th minute, but his sharp shot hit the wrong side of the side netting and Justin Vom Steeg was not ultimately beat in goal.
Dunbar nearly got the breakthrough for Galaxy II in the 42nd minute, his angled attempt just wide of the far post.
The teams went into the break scoreless, with Sporting I think very much the happier of the teams, as they were primarily doing their work on defense and through 45 minutes they were very much successful.
At second half kickoff, Augustine Williams entered the game for Preston Judd, who was effective at getting under SKCII defenders’ skin but didn’t have too many looks on goal on the night.
Los Dos almost had a chance in the 52nd minute, as a cross from Williams on the right flank was misplayed by a SKCII defender and their goalkeeper, Kendall McIntosh, spilled the ball temporarily, but Jorge Hernandez couldn’t capitalize on the bobble and McIntosh regained control of the ball.
But Sporting started getting some looks after that and they scored in the 60th minute, Ropapa Mensah’s shot beating Vom Steeg and clanging off the post, before he regained possession and hit a cutback pass to Resetar, who made no mistake with the one-timer to get the 1-0 lead.
Dominik Resetar comes through to sweep it up #LAvSKC | @SportingKCII pic.twitter.com/7r8w8IrPCQ— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) May 20, 2021
Dunbar exited the game in the 62nd minute for Axel Picazo. And then Koreniuk made way in the 66th minute for Isaac Bawa.
Galaxy II had a nice buildup in the 70th minute, but Daniel Aguirre’s counterattack chance with only McIntosh to beat was mishit and sliced wide.
But Galaxy II found the equalizer in the 73rd minute, as another patient buildup around the box ended with a shot by Hernandez at the edge of the box that was deflected by a SKCII defender and went in the net.
Make that three goals in five games for Jorge Hernandez #LAvSKC | @LAGalaxyII pic.twitter.com/YU7v7ygVFE— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) May 20, 2021
Taylor Davila was LA’s final substitute of the night, replacing Adrian Gonzalez in the 78th minute.
Given this is five games unbeaten for Los Dos, you probably can’t be too critical of the game, but even though SKCII were good value for the tie on the night, I think this is the kind of game Galaxy II probably were hoping to bank three points on, against a non-Division MLS2 opponent. Nevertheless, it was a gritty game and a good effort by Los Dos to battle back for something from the match.
Galaxy II will be back in action on Sunday, when they host Oakland Roots on Sunday for the teams’ first-ever meeting. Oakland have only played one game so far so it will be interesting to see if there’s a difference in terms of match fitness, considering it will be Roots’ second of the season and Los Dos’ sixth.
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