Categorized | MLS, MLS Match Reports

Galaxy inch closer to Supporters’ Shield

Posted on 02 October 2011 by iyeo

It’s been a week of grinding out results for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Last Saturday, a stoppage time strike by Chad Barrett earned three points against the Columbus Crew on the road, then three days later, another last minute goal, this time from Juninho game the Galaxy a 2-1 win over visiting Monarcas Morelia that kept alive LA’s hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League Tournament.

This time, LA made sure it didn’t have to wait that long to win this match, yet the three points earned against Real Salt Lake on Saturday night was every bit as gritty, as the Galaxy rallied from a halftime deficit to defeat Real Salt Lake 2-1 at the Home Depot Center.

“It was a good game tonight,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “It was nice to have our team really challenged and come from behind.”

The win is LA’s first win after trailing at halftime, but more importantly, the win, which bumped LA’s point total to 64 points, keeps the Galaxy seven points clear of the Seattle Sounders and inches Los Angeles ever so close to the Supporters Shield. Only the Sounders’ 2-1 win over the New England Revolution kept LA from clinching the Shield on Saturday night. As for Real Salt Lake, despite being sent to its third straight loss, head coach Jason Kreis was satisfied with the effort put forth against the Galaxy.

“I thought we stretched LA to their wits end tonight,” Kreis said. “They’re the beat team in the league, they have the most points for a reason and I think we gave them a pretty difficult challenge tonight.”

Trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Galaxy rose tot eh occasion starting in the 59th minute. David Beckham played a dazzling long ball into the penalty area in the direction of a sprinting Chad Barrett. RSL center back Jamison Olave came in for some last minute defending, but Barrett managed to chip a ball at goal which got past keeper Nick Rimando and crossed the goal line even as the ball actually went back into play.

“It was probably miscommunication between Olave and Rimando and I saw the opportunity,” Barrett said. “I put my toe in there, Rimando’s had was down and I just lifted it up over him.”

Los Angeles then pulled ahead in the 72nd minute and Beckham again played a role, as he sent a free kick into the 18 to Todd Dunivant, who then crossed a ball inside the six and Nat Borchers’ erred on his defending, as the ball glanced off his foot and into the back netting. The Galaxy never looked back afterward.

“It wasn’t the prettiest of goals, but we were aggressive, kept our composure and did what we had to do,” Arena said.

Real Salt Lake was the first to strike in the first half, and it came just before stoppage time. Javier Morales’s corner from the left side was headed by Nat Borchers towards goal, but a deflection off a Galaxy player sent the ball to the end-line for another RSL corner, this one on the right side. This time, Real Salt Lake succeeded, as Morales’ corner went to Fabian Espindola, whose header beat a flat-footed Josh Saunders to the back post.

“I wanted a collective team effort and I wanted a team that showed a little more discipline and was more difficult to break down,” Kreis said. “We didn’t get the result we hoped for, but we got a lot of hard work and a sense of improvement.”

Both teams had some chances to get on the board prior to the RSL goal. LA’s first opportunity was gifted by Salt Lake themselves in the 32nd minute, as Nat Borchers’ clearance was collected by Robbie Keane, but his touch was a little too heavy and Nick Rimando gobbled up the loose ball. LA’s other good look at goal came in the 38th minute when Will Johnson handled a Juninho volley, giving LA a free shot from about 23 yards out. A brief scrum ensued as RSL protested the call, leading to Borchers being carded and a minute later, Beckham’s free kick just missed the near post. Real Salt Lake’s one good look at goal came in the 17th minute when a Paolo Cardozo foul set up RSL from about 23 yards out. Morales aimed for the upper left corner, but his free kick was parried away by Saunders.

The Galaxy will plays its last game on short rest before a long and deserved 12 days off, as they travel to New York to face the Red Bulls this coming Tuesday in the match at Red Bull Arena that was rescheduled due to Hurricane Irene. Real Salt Lake will try to snap out of its funk on Thursday, as they travel to Vancouver to face the Whitecaps at BC Place Stadium.

Los Angeles Galaxy 2, Real Salt Lake 1
October 1, 2011; Home Depot Center

Scoring Summary
RSL – Fabian Espindola (Javier Morales) 45
LA – Chad Barrett (David Beckham) 60
LA – Own goal (Nat Borchers) 72

Discipline Summary
RSL – Fabian Espindola (Unsporting Behavior) 38
LA – Omar Gonzalez (Reckless Tackle) 40
LA – Paolo Cardozo (Reckless Tackle) 43
RSL – Ned Gabavoy (Reckless Tackle) 49+
RSL – Javier Morales (Dissent) 48
RSL – Yordany Alvarez (Tactical Foul) 57

Real Salt Lake – Nick Rimando, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert, Yordany Alvarez (Andy Williams 74), Will Johnson, Javier Morales (Collen Warner 80), Ned Grabavoy, Fabian Espindola (Paulo Araujo Jr. 65), Alvaro Saborio.

Substitutes not used: Tim Mella, Rauwshan McKenzie, Arturo Alvarez, Luis Gil.

Los Angeles Galaxy – Josh Saunders, Bryan Jordan, Omar Gonzalez, AJ DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Paolo Cardozo, David Beckham, Juninho, Landon Donovan (Michael Stephens 89), Chad Barrett (Adam Cristman 70), Robbie Keane (Joan Kirovski 91).

Substitutes not used: Brian Perk, Frankie Hejduk, Hector Jimenez, Miguel Lopez.

Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistants, Brian Poeschel, Adam Wienckowski
Fourth Official: Ramon Hernandez
Weather: Clear and 64 degrees
Attendance: 27,000
Time of match: 1:54

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