There comes a point in a season where a team on a losing streak needs to snap and get back to producing goals. An example of that: Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy, who responded to a couple of tough defeats with an impressive 4-1 victory over John Hackworth’s Philadelphia Union at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.
Here are six things we learned from Wednesday’s night’s contest between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Philadelphia Union.
1. Los Angeles get going early
It wouldn’t be long for the home team to be its own worst enemy. Early on in the first half, a Landon Donovan corner found Omar Gonzalez in the third minute of play, although it looked to be more of an own goal credited to Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
2. Philadelphia’s pressure pays off
In the eighth minute, Danny Cruz nearly got open for a chance on goal but Gonzalez had to clear. The ensuing corner was collected by Galaxy netminder Carlo Cudicini after Jose Kleberson tried his luck.
A.J. DeLaGarza had a chance in the 12th thanks to a Robbie Keane delivery but MacMath cleared, forcing a corner that was swept. An attempt from Jack McInerney in the 16th minute sailed wide left of the mark. Robbie Keane tried a shot in the 18th minute but it went over the crossbar. Philadelphia were applying the pressure, and Kleberson’s header in the 21st minute went over the bar and out.
In the 23rd minute, Amobi Okugo got ahead on a header from a throw-in by Sheannon Williams. Villareal failed to mark Okugo, and the score was 1-1.
3. Los Angeles are also their own enemy, too
Villareal looked to atone for his sins in the 25th minute, but his shot was collected by MacMath. In the 29th minute, Kleberson’s free kick was high and wide. McInerney nearly found Cruz a minute later by Tommy Meyer there to clear. In the 34th minute, McInerney’s counterattack was held by by Cudicini. A Galaxy corner in the 41st minute by Donovan was poorly headed by Magee and eventually collected by MacMath. A would-be goal for the Galaxy was called back because Robbie Keane touched the ball as it crossed the end line. That was a massive break for the Union as the score was 1-1 at the halftime whistle. Philadelphia were dominating a number of key match statistics at the break.
Philadelphia Union LA Galaxy
10 Attempts on Goal 6
3 Shots on Target 3
4 Shots off Target 3
3 Blocked Shots 0
2 Corner Kicks 3
5 Fouls 8
7 Open Play Crosses 5
0 Offsides 1
0 First Yellow Cards 0
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
29 Duels Won 25
53% Duels Won % 46%
226 Total Pass 191
76% Passing Accuracy % 75%
53.2% Possession 46.8%
4. Corner issues for both teams in second half
Early on in the second half, the match became a struggle for ball possession. Bakary Soumare was cautioned in the 53rd minute of play for being the last man back. A break was due. That came in the 55th minute, when Gonzalez conceded a corner to Sebastien Le Toux. Unfortunately, Kleberson’s night of poor finishing continued. In the 58th minute, Juninho’s pass to Magee was collected by MacMath. The ensuing counter resulted in another corner that was cleared. Donovan’s counter was cleared by MacMath in the 59th minute, forcing a corner.
In the 61st minute, a shot from Cruz sailed wide right and hit the side netting. A counter from Donovan and Keane failed to connect seconds later. The ensuing corner for Donovan was squandered.
5. Here comes Robbie Keane…
In the 67th minute, a shot from Kleberson was cleared by Todd Dunivant. In the 68th minute, a free kick from Donovan failed to find Gonzalez. Later on in the match, thanks to Marcelo Sarvas and Donovan, Keane broke through in the 71st minute on a breakwaway to nmake it 2-1 Los Angeles Galaxy, effectively atoning for bring offsides 25 game minutes ago.
Magee had an opportunity to make it 3-1 in the 76th minute but that sailed wide right. In the 79th minute, Donovan tried to find Magee it didn’t work out.
6. Los Angeles pulling away
In the 80th minute, Hector Jimenez the crowd on a breakway thanks to Donovan playing the masterstroke assist man. That was Jimenez’s second-ever career goal and his first of the season for LA. In the 87th minute, Donovan received a pass from Keane, sliced past MacMath, and sent the fans on their way to make it 4-1 Los Angeles Galaxy. A would be goal for the Union in the 89th minute was called back due to McInerney fouling DeLaGarza. That was symbolic of the night’s proceedings for the Union.
|Philadelphia Union||LA Galaxy|
|17||Attempts on Goal||15|
|3||Shots on Target||7|
|7||Shots off Target||7|
|13||Open Play Crosses||16|
|3||First Yellow Cards||1|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|49%||Duels Won %||51%|
|75%||Passing Accuracy %||79%|