What a difference a week makes. After getting beaten off the pitch by FC Dallas seven days earlier, the LA Galaxy looked like a completely different side this time out. On Saturday, the Galaxy hung on to a 3-2 win over Minnesota United FC at Dignity Health Sports Park.
“At halftime, I talked with the players saying ‘this 45 was perfect,” Guillermo Barros Schelotto said of the opening half after the Galaxy raced out to a 2-0 lead.
With the multitude of injuries occurring for Schelotto and staff, the forwards had to be tweaked. GBS rotated Chris Pontius out to his more preferred role on the right wing, while Uriel Antuna played as the lone striker.
Galaxy dominate early
The Galaxy started this match with confidence, putting the MNUFC back line under pressure within the opening minutes of the match. Jonathan Dos Santos, in the ninth minute, tried his luck from long range and won a corner off his attempt.
Minnesota nearly found a break through 17 minutes into the contest on the counter. But LA’s defense forced Darwin Quintero could only get a shot away from distance that went wide.
Four minutes after the half hour mark, the Galaxy got on the scoreboard after a dominating opening period.
Emmanuel Boateng floated a cross towards Pontius in the box. He brought the ball down and played it forward towards Uriel Antuna, who was brought down from behind by Ozzie Alonso. The captain stepped up to the spot and sent the Minnesota goalkeeper the wrong way.
After a 25 pass sequence from the Galaxy, which destroyed MNUFC’s confidence, they scored their second goal of the opening half. Boateng slipped Rolf Feltscher through on the right flank. The right back sent a dangerous ball towards the six yards back, where Pontius chested the cross past Vito Mannone.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 17, 2019
“I felt more comfortable out there,” Pontius said afterwards. “But as a team the ball movement was better, and when you have that as a team, and when you have the ball, there’s a certain confidence that gets built.”
Minnesota make things interesting late
It looked like the Galaxy were cruising towards three points. However, in the 75th minute, Minnesota’s Jan Gregus scored a goal that David Bingham most certainly should have stopped.
Despite having a broken nose and shedding his face protector seconds into the match, Sebastian Lletget scored the Galaxy’s third goal. Antuna raced towards the byline before pulling a pass back, where Lletget smashed a right footed volley to seal the match.
LA’s left back Jorgen Skjelvik could not clear his line to ease pressure in the dying moments. Romain Metanire won possession and found the head of Abu Danladi, whose header hit off the post. Angelo Rodriguez was there to slam home the rebound.
After the international break, the Galaxy return to the Dignity Health Sports Park to take on the Portland Timbers.