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Dramatic opening day win: LA Galaxy 1, NYCFC 0

Chicharito nets winner in final moments

MLS: New York City FC at LA Galaxy Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve finally made it. The start of the 2022 MLS season for LA Galaxy. After a long, but overall positive preseason, the G’s took the field at home to open up the new campaign against defending MLS Cup Champions, NYCFC. It was definitely a hard fought match, but the Galaxy were able to grab the winner right at the end, taking all three points in a 1-0 win at home.

While there was plenty to watch for in the first match of the season, all eyes were on the team’s newest arrival, Brazilian forward Douglas Costa. It didn't take long for him to make an impact either. After an immediate chance from the defending champs in the early minutes of the match, the Galaxy settled in and started creating chances of their own. Costa showed off his ability to create, beating several defenders early on and providing some quality balls into the box for his fellow attackers to get on the end of.

Despite finishing the half with more — and better quality — chances at an opening goal, the Galaxy and New York went into the break even with no first-half goals. Finishing the half with six shots (four on goal), and more possession, the Galaxy most definitely weren't thrilled to go into the break scoreless, but they did well to give a glimpse at how dominant they can be. Once the goals start going in that is. It should also be noted this wasn't FC Cincinnati that they are playing, these are the defending champions for a reason, who've already played two competitive matches in the Concacaf Champions League.

With eyes set on finding the back of the net in the second half, the Galaxy continued to create opportunities early on. They did well enough to feed balls into the box, with Chicharito coming close to finding the opener, however the timing was always just slightly off. New signing Douglas Costa — who didn't see any preseason match action due to Visa issues, though did train with the team — played for 65 minutes before being subbed off in his MLS debut.

In true Hollywood fashion, the drama was saved for the final moments of the match. It all 90 minutes, but in the 90th it was none other than Chicharito who got on the end of a great pass from Raheem Edwards, making just one move to clear the defense, and found the back of the net with emphasis. The crowd who had been eager to erupt all match, were finally able to let it all out as the Galaxy took the lead late.

This was only match day one of a very long MLS season, but this was the result the team needed to set the tone for the rest of their campaign. NYCFC came into this match having scored six combined goals in their first two competitive matches of the year, so to hold them scoreless is no small feat. Not only that, but the Galaxy defense held NYCFC to only nine shots all match, with only one of those shots on target. The G’s dominated this match in all aspects, so getting the win at the end was deserved. While the road to a sixth MLS Cup will be a long one, this is one hell of a start for the club as they look to re-establish themselves atop the league's hierarchy.

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