The MLS saved the most thrilling match of the week for last, unquestionably making it the standout event of the entire weekend. Austin FC faced off against a struggling LA Galaxy team, who were drifting farther away from Playoff contention.
The match, ultimately filled with goals and a nail-biting conclusion, kicked off well past 9:30 p.m. PT due to a decision to postpone it owing to severe weather that was seriously disrupting the game's normal flow.
After several hours of waiting, the match finally began and was as chaotic as the unpredictable weather from the get-go. In the 11th minute, Ring scored to put the Texans in the lead, a score that held until the end of the first half, when Riqui Puig equalized from the penalty spot with a well-executed shot.
The Californians' happiness was short-lived, though. While Puig found the net in the 47th minute, Finlay waited until the 51st minute of the first half to put his team ahead again just before halftime, a so-called 'psychological goal.' What followed was undeniably the most entertaining part of the game.
In the second half, marked by intense play but filled with imbalances and errors due to strong winds, Rigoni scored what seemed like a calming goal with only 15 minutes left. However, the game took an unexpected turn in the closing moments. With time nearly up, Galaxy summoned their remaining strength and launched an all-out attack in search of a goal to make the final stretch of the match more thrilling.
In the 89th minute, just as the referee was about to signal added time, Joveljic narrowed the gap with an assist from Sharp, setting the stage for a heart-pounding final few minutes that certainly lived up to expectations. With LA Galaxy pushing hard and Austin struggling against the wind, the equalizing goal finally arrived, courtesy of Colombian Michael Barrios, who headed in a cross from Mexican Perez at the far post.
In this manner, Galaxy leaves with a hard-earned point, leaving a positive impression, along with the memorable story of a match played nearly at dawn due to a storm that eventually allowed the game to take place, albeit with a significant delay.