Once again, Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy revert to the trog cycle football that has doomed them all season: conceding goals late in the last several minutes of the match. It’s something this club has been accustomed to for the bulk of the 2013 season, and something that will cost them later in the year.
That being said, their most recent defeat, a 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers on the road at JELD-WEN Field was nothing special: poor finishing, another typical performance from Carlo Cudicini in goal, and some drama late. 20,674 were in attendance for this contest. Here are six things we learned from Saturday’s match between the Galaxy and Timbers.
1. Marcelo starts things up for LA
Early on in the first half, Portland looked to amp up the pressure and give their players a chance to pressure the Los Angeles Galaxy backline. Robbie Keane tried his luck in the fourth minute but was tackled. In the fourth minute, Portland won a free kick but it was cleared.
In the ninth minute, Diego Chara nearly finished off a good chance on the counter but shot it wide left of the mark. shot from Keane in the 10th minute was well wide right. A 12th minute corner from Juninho was cleared by Darlington Nagbe. Keane’s next chance in the 15th minute was collected by Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
In the 18th minute, Marcelo Sarvas broke open the deadlock with a sensational pass from Hector Jimenez, who picked up a through ball from Sean Franklin.
2. Portland with a point to prove
The onus was now on Portland to respond and make this a wide-open contest in the first half. In the 21st minute, Carlo Cudicini collected a chance from Nagbe. Some chaos in the Timbers’ defensive third in the 23rd minute was eventually swept. In the 24th minute, a free kick from Portland’s Diego Valeri was whistled back due to a foul.
Robbie Rogers conceded a dangerous set piece from 20 meters out, and Ryan Johnson capitalized on the quickly-taken opportunity to make it 1-1 in the 27th minute. Nagbe tried to get his foot on it and seemed to be offside, but the goal stood anyway for Johnson’s sixth goal of the season.
3. A ball possession battle for the rest of the first half
A.J. DeLaGarza received a yellow card in the 31st minute for his dissent. A header from Omar Gonzalez was denied by the post in the 35th minute. Rogers won a free kick in the 37th minute of play from just outside the box. Ricketts made another good save on Juninho just one minute later, showing the sellout crowd at JELD-WEN Field his league pedigree.
In the 39th minute, a corner was wasted by Sean Franklin, forcing a goal kick. Chara and Sarvas were given yellow cards each for their scuffles. A would-be goal from Gyasi Zardes in the 41st minute was called back because he pushed Michael Harrington. Zardes nearly got home free on a breakway int he 42nd minute but was denied by Ricketts.
Johnson was cautioned in the 42nd minute for a harsh challenge on Juninho. Ben Zemanski tried his luck in the 45th minute but his shot was collected by Carlo Cudicini. At the end of the first half, the score was 1-1, capping off an exciting opening period of play.
Portland Timbers LA Galaxy
3 Attempts on Goal 6
2 Shots on Target 3
1 Shots off Target 2
0 Blocked Shots 1
1 Corner Kicks 2
10 Fouls 7
1 Open Play Crosses 10
3 Offsides 0
2 First Yellow Cards 2
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
27 Duels Won 25
51% Duels Won % 48%
195 Total Pass 207
78% Passing Accuracy % 76%
47.5% Possession 52.5%
4. Timbers applying pressure early in second half
Early on in the second half, a cross from Rogers tried to find Zardes in the 47th minute but it was cleared. Johnson was called back for offsides in the 52nd minute of play. In the 53rd minute, neither Sarvas nor Jimenez couldn’t make do on receiving the entry pass.
Cudicini denied Valeri in the 54th minute on the counterattack and a minute later, Juninho suffered a knock from Johnson that left him winded for a bit. In the 61st minute, Cudicini had to make a save on Johnson, and the rebound went off for a corner.
5. Robbie Keane injured late in second half
Both teams continued to trade blows in the second half. A set piece from Juninho in the 63rd minute was cleared, and a cross from Frederic Piquionne was collected by Cudicini in the 66th minute. In the 70th minute of play, Jack Jewsbury was forced to make a clearance off an LA corner just two meters away from the end line.
Nagbe broke loose in the 74th minute of play but was held up by A.J. DeLaGarza. In the 79th minute, a left hip flexor injury forced Robbie Keane to be subbed out in favor of Jack McBean. A corner from Juninho was cleared by Piquionne in the 81st minute and another shot from Zardes in the 82nd minute was saved by Ricketts.
6. Galaxy follow the script in terms of conceding goals late
It seemed to be another of those matches with a frantic finish late for both teams. In the 90th minute, a set piece from Juninho was collected by Ricketts. This was going to go down to stoppage time as club mascot Timber Joey whipped out his chainsaw.
In the second minute of stoppage time, Jack McBean won a corner and Ricketts earned a yellow for dissent. A header from Sean Franklin on the corner was high and over the bar for a goal kick. DeLaGarza forced a corner in the fourth minute of stoppage time and seconds later, New York City’s very own Andrew Jean-Baptiste finished off the corner to give the Timbers a dramatic 2-1 victory in stoppage time.
|Portland Timbers||LA Galaxy|
|7||Attempts on Goal||10|
|5||Shots on Target||5|
|2||Shots off Target||3|
|8||Open Play Crosses||31|
|4||First Yellow Cards||3|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|55%||Duels Won %||44%|
|80%||Passing Accuracy %||77%|