After a lackluster opening-night performance last week, LA Galaxy II were back in action on Wednesday and found their stride, defeating Las Vegas Lights FC 5-0 at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The win turns the page on the loss last week to Sacramento Republic, in which Los Dos looked like they were a step slow and not quite in rhythm, with the level of play in this match substantially better. Coming against a completely remade Las Vegas side playing their first game of the season, Los Dos were fantastic value for the win in the end.
Junior Gonzalez opted to bring in Justin Vom Steeg in goal for LA, with first team loanees Augustine Williams and Jonathan Perez entering the lineup and Adrian Gonzalez getting the start.
LA were the sharper of the two teams in the opening stretch of the game, with Kai Koreniuk trying to push the subject with direct runs upfield. He had a good shot in the 21st minute that was saved by Las Vegas GK Tomas Romero. A few minutes later, Williams nearly scored, his effort trickling just wide of the far post off a Josh Drack cross.
The teams went into the break tied 0-0, LA with a huge edge in chances, eight shots, three on target, to two and none for Las Vegas.
Preston Judd replaced Williams up top to start the second half, and Axel Picazo entered at the same time for Perez.
Koreniuk found the breakthrough in the 48th minute, as he slotted a rather tricky chance off a great low cross from Owen Lambe that trickled through traffic in the box.
Los Dos took over from there and got an insurance goal in the 57th minute, as Daniel Aguirre had a shot that Las Vegas goalkeeper Tomas Romero could not fully stop, as it trickled over the line, the goal officially called an own goal for CC Uche, which seemed like a tough call.
Aguirre scored himself at the hour mark, with a scramble in Lights FC’s box leading to the midfielder taking a lateral dribble and then his shot from the edge of the box was deflected by a defender and helped it into the net.
Taylor Davila entered the game in the 75th minute for Aguirre, who had a fantastic shift for LA.
Galaxy II got a fourth goal in the 82nd minute, with a sublime Jorge Hernandez free kick to fully seal the three points for the home side.
Sebastian Hernandez entered the game for Lambe in the 85th minute, while Sebastian Nava replaced Jorge Hernandez after his goal.
Judd scored his first professional goal in the 90th minute, with a breakaway chance that he slotted home easily, to make it 5-0.
Honestly, these teams were pretty even in the first half, but Los Dos really pulled away in the second half and really punished some slack defending by Lights FC. In a division in which good teams won’t take off many nights, this was a promising sign for LA’s hopes of getting back to the playoffs again this season.
Los Dos will be back in action on Sunday, when they take on Tacoma Defiance at home to complete the opening three-game homestand this season.
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