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Hometown hero: LA Galaxy 1, Nashville SC 0

Local product, Julian Araujo, picked the perfect moment to score his first goal of the season

MLS: Nashville SC at LA Galaxy Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

No, you're not dreaming, nor did the team didn't somehow fall ten places over the course of the week. For the first time since 2016 LA Galaxy take the pitch, at home, in a playoff match. Hosting a Nashville SC side looking to extend their stay in Los Angeles, Galaxy had a chance to make a real statement in their return to the postseason.

The first half was the type of half we've seen a lot from the G’s this year. They were able to finish the first 45 with far more possession — keeping 67% of the ball — but couldn't find the go-ahead goal. The rest of the match was about as even as it could get. Both sides had three shots with both only finding the target once. Neither side found the leading goal before the halftime break, setting up a very tense, and very critical second half.

It was the type of match that felt like a fluke goal was incoming. Whether Galaxy were the beneficiaries of that possibility or not, remained to be seen. Either way there were goals to be found, and it felt like two goals would be what was needed to avoid extra time or possibly penalty kicks.

Galaxy came out firing on all cylinders in the second half. It looked like Chicharito was going to open up the 2022 postseason account when he got on the end of a gorgeous 80-yard build-up that finished with the veteran slamming home the goal. However, VAR is a complete hater, and after a look, a foul all the way at the start of the run resulted in the goal being called off. Minutes later Julian Araujo nearly scored what would have definitely been early contender for goal of the playoffs, but it hit the post before it could curl into the back of the net. He didn't give up though, and literally moments after that, scored his first goal of the season.

Samuel Grandsir put together a great cross into the box that sailed over the defenders towards the back post. Waiting patiently was Araujo who climbed the ladder, then slammed home the header for the lead in the 60th minute of the match. It took a few efforts, but Galaxy finally got their deserved goal and took the lead with just over half an hour to defend for their lives.

The team did great to balance defending, while still keeping Nashville honest with aggressive moments of attack. They, like many, also felt like two would be enough, but one was playing with the possibility of seeing the match extended.

Luckily, one goal proved to be enough for the G’s as the final whistle blew on the opening round of the playoffs. We already know who the team play next as well. While they won't be at home, they will still remain in Los Angeles, as their win today set up yet another playoff edition of El Tráfico. The squad will make the 11 mile trip up the 110 to face Supporters’ Shield winners LAFC. Reminder, it was LAFC who ended the Galaxy’s last playoff run in 2019, just in case further motivation was needed.

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