With the LA Galaxy up 2-0 at halftime, it looked like they were going to cruise towards clinching that final Western Conference playoffs spot. However, the Galaxy fell apart in the second half, and finished their season losing 3-2 to the Houston Dynamo.
“I thought we did such a good job to get back into it,” Sebastian Lletget said. “And I thought if we got through this game, nobody is going to stop us.
LA, however, started the brighter of the two sides. They dominated possession early and created numerous opportunities off crosses from both flanks and set pieces.
At the 19 minute mark, the Galaxy could have found the opening goal. Zlatan Ibrahimovic brought down a ball at the far post and had a shot stopped after Joe Willis made the save.
Kamara scores twice for Galaxy
Three minutes later, another opportunity arose. Ola Kamara fed Emmanuel Boateng down the right side of the pitch. The speedy winger beat DaMarcus Beasley inside the area and found a bit of space to get an attempt away. Once again, though, Willis was there to stop the Galaxy from getting off the scoresheet.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 27th minute after Romain Alessandrini took a short corner. He floated a delivery towards the middle of the box where Kamara lept to meet the ball. Kamara got enough power behind his header to beat Willis.
A second goal was scored two minutes later through Kamara, who scored his 14th goal of the season. Ashley Cole hit a low cross that evaded every Houston defender. The Norwegian striker continued his run and used his right foot to secure his first half brace.
Houston Dynamo comeback in second half
During the second half, however, it was the Dynamo who made the most of their opportunities. The Galaxy defense could not stop the Romell Quioto train. He made both Rolf Feltscher and Daniel Steres look inept before firing his effort at the near post, beating David Bingham with precision.
After being so productive in the opening 45 minutes, Alessandrini gave away a penalty when he brought down the former LA Galaxy man AJ DeLaGarza. Up stepped Mauro Manotas who tucked his effort away to level the match with 17 minutes remaining.
“It was a big mistake. I was late, I tried to kick the ball out,” Alessandrini said.
“It was a big mistake, I’m very sad about that because Houston come back after that. It was tough for everybody. I’m not happy about that.”
LA’s fate was sealed 11 minutes from the end of normal time. A low pass beat the Galaxy’s back line and Manotas notched his second goal of the afternoon.
“They went a little bit higher, but I still think with our passing and our movement,” Dom Kinnear said.
“If we would have been a little sharper, we would have opened up a bit better.”
“We gave so much the last two months we left a lot of energy in every game to win,” Alessandrini concluded.
“At the end of the season, your body is feeling a bit tired. We have to be better and to win this game and that’s it.”