Los Angeles Galaxy Lose Pan-Pacfic Championship to Blue Wings on Kicks
The Los Angeles Galaxy, unable to win an MLS championship since 2005, decided to write themselves a perfect movie-like formula to win a meaningful piece of silverware.
The Galaxy were able to convince Soccer United Marketing to hold the 2009 Pan-Pacific Championship, in which the team would face champion teams of Korea, China, and Japan at the Home Depot Center.
The Galaxy won their first match of the tournament this past Wednesday besting Japanese team Oita Trinita 2-0.
This set up up a championship match with one of Asia's most prolific teams—the Suwon Blue Wings. The Blue Wings reached the title game by besting Chinese SuperLeague group Shandong Luneng 1-0.
The Galaxy’s opening was perfectly scripted, but the Suwon Blue Wings had other plans in their Saturday night final. The first third of the match passed relatively uneventfully until Olveria Eduardo of the Blue Wings was yellow-carded.
This elicited cheers from the Galaxy fans, though Eduardo almost instantly made up for his sin with a perfect pass to Dong Hyeon Seo.
However, Seo was not so fortunate. His shot failed to score but it brought the Blue Wings fans something to cheer about. These same fans came to their feet when the Galaxy converted an own-goal only 10 minutes later to give the Blue Wings a 1-0 lead at the half.
The Galaxy, struggling with their backs to the wall for most of the second half finally got a couple of corner chances and a critical throw in during the final two minutes of the game. The throw-in resulted in a penalty shot for the Galaxy as a Blue Wings player practically bear-hugged one of the Los Angeles' players.
Mike Magee converted the shot which sent the game into overtime. As this was a preseason tournament, no extra time was played and the match went immediately into penalty kicks.
Edson Buddle of the Galaxy had a wild kick that soared well over the crossbar into the stands. Magee converted his kick. However, it was not to be. Netminder Park Ho-Jin blocked a shot from the Galaxy's Kyle Patterson while the Blue Wings converted all their kicks to win the shootout 4-2.
With the win, the Blue Wings erased an embarrassing venture to Los Angeles in 2007 when they lost both of their games in the “World Series of Soccer” tournament.
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