SANDY, UT (September 7, 2016) – It was good performance for most of the game from an injury riddled team, but it wasn’t enough. The LA Galaxy drew Real Salt Lake 3-3 on Wednesday night thanks to a 94th minute goal from Juan ‘Burrito’ Martinez.
LA Galaxy Draw 3-3 In Wild Game At RSL
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena had a number of injuries to deal with in selecting his Starting XI. Leonardo started at center back in replace of the injured Jelle Van Damme. Robbie Rogers and Ashley Cole started as the outside backs. Sebastian Lletget made a rare start at holding midfield in replace of the departed Nigel de Jong next to Jeff Larentowicz.
Baggio Husidic started at right midfield with Giovani dos Santos and Alan Gordon in the No. 10 and No. 9 roles respectively.
RSL manager Jeff Cassar started a typical lineup. The front line was manned by Joao Plata and Yura Movsisyan. Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales were in the midfield.
The match got off to a bit of a slow start with RSL controlling much of the ball but not doing anything with it. The Galaxy remained compact. Rogers and Husidic did well to prevent Plata from getting into space and Cole marked Juan Martinez very tightly as well.
Los Angeles opened scoring in the 6th minute. Dos Santos got the ball at midfield and sent a through pass into the attacking third. Emmanuel Boateng blazed past Jaimeson Olave, ran in on goal and beat goalkeeper Nick Rimando near post.
The Galaxy continues to play compact and counter after scoring. RSL won several corners but had trouble creating offense. Their best chances came late in the half.
In the 36th minute, Olave got his head on a Morales corner, but Movsisyan redirected it over the bar in front of goal. Just five minutes later, Chris Wingert nearly scored on a long ball from Beckerman. The defender got his head to the ball, but it sailed just wide of the post.
The half ended with the Galaxy leading 1-0. Both Salt Lake center backs earned yellow cards in the first half.
RSL starting the second half with more energy. They moved the ball quicker through the midfield and started forcing the Galaxy into making mistakes. They then got the ball moving quickly on the counter attack.
Their hard work earned them a bit of luck in the 53rd minute. A deflected cross got to goalkeeper Brian Rowe, who was slow to collect it. Plata ran in and surprised him, forcing Rowe to trip him up. Head referee Chris Penso pointed to the spot. Plata converted the PK, wrong-siding Rowe.
The Galaxy would get two quick goals in the 57th and 64th minute from Dos Santos. First, Husidic sent a long hopeful cross into the box. Dos Santos hit it first time and beat Rimando. Then Larentowicz hit the cross bar of a crazy sequence and Dos Santos was able to volley it in and score.
Plata would answer almost immediately, firing the ball into the upper 90 off a good set up from Movsisyan.
The Galaxy tried to eek out a result, defending and countering at times. Rowe made several good saves and the Galaxy benefited from some poor finishing from RSL.
It wasn’t to be however. Martinez equalized in the fourth minute of stoppage time with a rather harmless shot that sneaked past Rowe. The match ended 3-3.
Considering the state of the team, this a good result. Considering that they were set up with a two goal lead in the second half, this is a deflating result. Considering their goalkeeper, who’s been solid most of the year, gifted the opponent two goals, this is a bad result.
The Galaxy are still 12 points clear of the red line, but they’ve got some work to do.