LA Galaxy II dropped their second game of the 2021 season on Sunday, when they fell victim to a last-minute Oakland Roots game-winner to lose 3-2 at Dignity Health Sports Park.
It was Oakland’s second-ever game in the USL Championship, and whether they were really up for it or the double-game week left Los Dos feeling fatigued, the home side took the lead twice but could not hold on and eventually dropped all three points by the final whistle.
Junior Gonzalez made several changes to his XI for Los Dos, with Eric Lopez getting the start in goal, Isaac Bawa starting his first game of the season in central defense, and Axel Picazo and Augustine Williams returned for starts as well.
We missed the opening 16 minutes of the broadcast, because the ESPN+ stream wasn’t up yet, but no goals were scored in the opening quarter-hour.
That opening goal belonged to Galaxy II, as Picazo led a counterattack downfield, set up Williams, whose shot was blocked by Oakland goalkeeper Zeus De La Paz, before Picazo cleaned it up himself in burying the rebound in the 31st minute.
The teams went into the break with LA leading 1-0, but Oakland looked like they weren’t out of the game by any means.
Oakland got to work quickly in the 2nd half, with Danny Flores scoring inside a minute of the kickoff, redirecting Yohannes Harish’s cross, after Roots intercepted a poor pass in the back by Bawa.
Last night was a dream.— Oakland Roots (@oaklandrootssc) May 24, 2021
Another look at Danny Flores bagging the first Oakland Roots goal in @USLChampionship history. Assist by the Oakland's very own, Yohannes Harish.#OAKvLA | #OaklandFirstAlways pic.twitter.com/OtjuDshUjP
Los Dos took the lead again right after the hour mark, as second-half sub Preston Judd hit a cross/shot from the endline that was officially scored an own goal.
But Oakland pushed for an equalizer, and found it in the 76th minute, as a long buildup by Roots led to Memo Diaz running onto a loose ball in Galaxy II’s box and buried the one-timer.
Both teams pushed for a late winner, but Roots found paydirt. The play began in the very back with De La Paz playing the ball upfield, Oakland pinging the ball around, before substitute Jeremy Bokila latched onto it, dribbled into very close range, and smashed it in.
So it was a bit of a gut punch, but it’s also a lesson to Galaxy II to make sure they close out games, too. I don’t think they played terribly but their defense was a bit shaggy, and ultimately, it cost them in the loss.
Los Dos are scheduled to be back in action on Saturday, when they’ll head to Irvine to face Orange County SC for the first time in 2021. The 405 Derby may not be such an occasion anymore with so many teams in California and thereabouts now, but it should still be a good game.
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