After a very professional 1-0 win in their U.S. Open Cup opener, LA Galaxy were back in MLS regular season action hosting new Western Conference side, Nashville SC. Despite Nashville arriving to the MLS a couple of years ago, this is the first meeting between the two sides. In the end, it was the MLS originals, LA Galaxy, who came away with the dramatic win at home, 1-0.
The first half was fairly even affair with both sides in a little back-and-forth action. Galaxy finished the half with more possession (59%) but both sides finished with three shots, two on target, and maintained over 85% pass accuracy. The scoreless half wasn't without its moments though. In typical Galaxy fashion they were able to find themselves with advantage on a counter-attack, but unable to find the finish in the final third.
Despite being a team this season that usually comes out for the second half with a bit extra, the G’z were unable to find that second-half surge they've enjoyed throughout the season. To their credit, Nashville did an excellent job setting up defensively. While they did give up several good looks to the home side, they were able to keep them out of goal for the majority of the second half.
Key word: majority. While it was difficult to find holes in the Nashville defense, it wasn't impossible. It took until the final moments, but in the 86th minute the G’z would get the deserved goal and much needed three points at home.
These type of matches are no doubt frustrating in many ways. Watching your team get so close, so often, but seemingly stopped by an invisible wall, is annoying. However last season, these were the matches the team would drop points in or outright lose. This season, this has been a team who finds ways to win these matches, that is huge and shouldn't be overlooked. Three points is always the objective, and whether you find them in the first ten minutes, or final ten minutes, as long as you come away with three points, it’s all that matters. The win also pushed Galaxy’s unbeaten run to five matches and keeps them on pace as a top three team in the always tough Western Conference.
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