LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA: Galaxy Score Then Concede Late in a Thrilling LA Derby
Bruce Arena's team enjoyed the lion's share of possession throughout the 90 minutes. Robbie Keane looked to be in the mood as well, which usually does not bode well for Galaxy opponents.
Of the teams' 25 meetings throughout this rivalry, Chivas have secured a non-loss result just nine times.
Further damning for new coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola was the fact that by the 40th minute his side was down to 10 men. Joaquin Oscar Velazquez was shown his second yellow card and given his marching orders for a clumsy challenge on Galaxy midfielder Colin Clark.
Chivas, the visitors on the day, were able to hold their opponents at bay for the remainder of the half.
In the second half, the Galaxy were sloppy and failed to convert any of the handful of chances that they were given. Numerous times the back post was left wide open, waiting for an attacker to get on the end of one of the many crosses fired in from the flanks.
Chivas was doing an equally good job on the counterattack, creating chances despite being shorthanded.
What was most astonishing about the 10 man Chivas side was that they appeared to be stronger than some of the other MLS sides have been this season.
Carlos Alvarez came on at halftime and began to torment the reigning champions with his movement and his speed.
Finally, in the 83rd minute, Jack McBean broke the deadlock after a bit of marvelous play from A.J. DeLaGarza. The defender broke down the right flank and did well to hold the ball up for just enough time before firing a cross into the box that McBean hit home at the near post.
It was McBean's second goal in as many games.
After McBean's late goal, the Galaxy defense appeared to switch off. They were made to pay for their mistake.
Chivas looked to be devastated by conceding a late goal after holding their opponents at bay for so long, yet somehow they found the desire to attack the home side and fight for a point.
Chivas did well to break down the field through Eric Avila, who smashed the ball across the box, only for Alvarez to tap the ball into the wide-open net. Their perseverance paid dividends.
The Galaxy will be feeling regret for not focusing in the final minutes. Even worse were all the chances they had throughout the 90 minutes that they didn't capitalize on.
If the Galaxy are going to repeat as champions this season, they are going to have to find a way to be more clinical in front of goal.
As for Chivas USA, anyone familiar with the team will see that the manager is having an effect on the side. Their determination and mental strength was fantastic, despite playing the majority of the match with only 10 men.
The LA derby proved to be the most exciting Galaxy game of the season so far. If future matches play out similarly, the SuperClasico may become one of the premier rivalries in the MLS.
Jake Little is an LA Galaxy season ticket holder. He can be found on twitter @jakelittle.
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