LA Galaxy hold off Sporting KC


Following a lengthy break, the Galaxy were back at it at home on Saturday night, as they welcomed Sporting Kansas City to Dignity Health Sports Park.

Historically, this has been a highly competitive match, but this year, the large gap between the two sides suggested it would be an easy night for the Galaxy. Still, Kansas City managed to make it every bit the competitive match this matchup has always brought out. Performances from players such as Gabriel Pec and Miki Yamane led the Galaxy to a 4-2 win over Kansas City.

“We manufactured some great moments where we were able to go fast and take advantage of the space in front of us,” Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney said. “I thought we were solid. What I was disappointed with was the goals we gave up because I don’t think they were great goals. We gave up a lot of shots, not a lot on target and not a lot of them that were dangerous.”

Pec was the catalyst for the Galaxy on Saturday night, as he scored a goal and assisted two others, while Yamane provided crisp passing out of the back line, and thus had a hand in two of the Galaxy’s goals. Saturday’s win was key for the Galaxy (8-3-7, 31 points), as in addition to extending its unbeaten streak to eight games, it also enabled them to stay in the upper half of the Western Conference standings in third place, two points behind LAFC and three points back of conference-leading Real Salt Lake.

The Galaxy opened the scoring in the 40th minute. Yamane passed to Pec, who then made a cutting move inside and passed to Joveljic, who then played Pec into the penalty area with only keeper Tim Melia in front. Pec took the shot, but was saved by Melia, the ball fell to Joveljic, who shot the rebound attempt, but Melia denied him but the ball fell back to Joveljic, who this time waited and took the ball inside the six-yard box, and Joveljic came through on the second chance, slotting the shot past a scrambling Melia to stake the Galaxy to the lead.

The Galaxy doubled the advantage in the 54th minute. Yamane passed to Dejan Joveljic, who then placed a perfectly weighted ball to an open Pec, who took a few touches and despite being defended closely by Robert Castellanos, still managed to get off a shot that beat Melia near post. Kansas City however refused to go quietly, pulling a goal back in the 66th minute, as Eric Thommy sent a cross into the penalty area and Afrifra slotted the shot past keeper John McCarthy far post to get Kansas City on the board.

“To be honest, I think today would have been one of those days where we could have probably gone 2-0,” Galaxy midfielder Diego Fagundez said. “It’s frustrating because I think if we don’t give them that momentum, I think the third one comes, and like you said, I think we go on cruise control and the game could end 2-0, 3-0 or even more. But when you give a team a little bit of life, they fight and they fight till the end.”

The match continued to go back and forth during the final stretch. The Galaxy restored its two-goal lead in the 75th minute, as Yamane sent what turned out to be a perfect long ball that Pec ran down from the left side, Pec then played a perfect cross to Paintsill, and he finished the break with a shot past Melia into the back net. Kansas City however refused to quit, again closing the deficit in the 82nd minute, as Castellanos guided a Johnny Russell free kick into the back net. The Galaxy however sealed the three points in the 91st minute, as Pec dribbled into the penalty area, took the ball towards the penalty area, sent a ball into the six and Miguel Berry was in the right place at the right time, as he slid and slotted the ball into the open net to stamp the win.



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