The LA Galaxy eked out two goals deep in stoppage time to claim all three points against the New England Revolution on the road.
“We’re a work in progress. A lot of this team was brought in this year,” Chris Pontius said. “We need to start to get things to gel a bit better in terms of our style of play.”
This victory for LA pushes them into a playoff spot for the first time in nine weeks. Currently, the Galaxy sit in sixth on 28 points, which would be good enough for a Wild Card spot. And only six points separate the Galaxy from LAFC, who sit in second, but play the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
Their improvement over the last several matches has been noticeable. Both the offense and defense have been performing much better as of late.
Ola Kamara made his way back into the starting lineup for Sigi Schmid, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic rested because of the surface. Schmid also opted for the 3-5-2 formation, with Ashley Cole and Pontius playing as wingbacks.
Testy First Half Finds New England on Top
During the first half, there was a lot of stop-and-go action. Romain Alessandrini pulled down Cristian Penilla, stopping a potential counter. Alessandrini got a yellow card for his sins. But Penilla was shown a straight red card 23 minutes into the contest for kicking out at the Frenchman two times.
Nonetheless, the Revolution took the lead five minutes later through Diego Fagundez. Wilfried Zahibo and Fagundez exchanged a couple of passes at the top of the box. The last pass threaded the Galaxy back line, who were caught ball watching, and Fagundez did not miss the bottom right corner.
LA found the equalizing goal ten minutes later. Jorgen Skjelvik made a barnstorming run into the final third with the ball before finding Ashley Cole out wide. Cole hit a first time cross towards the back post where Pontius drifted in unmarked. He took his attempt on the half volley and it flew in past Matt Turner.
“Chris Pontius had a very good game tonight,” Schmid said. “[Pontius] has been a great addition to our club this year.”
Right before the halftime interval, however, New England found the go-ahead goal again. Fagundez played a square ball to Andrew Farrell. The right back sent a dangerous ball towards the middle of the area.
Galaxy Come Back to Steal Three Points in Stoppage Time
Luis Caicedo managed to get his head on the delivery and redirected the ball past David Bingham. The Galaxy’s Michael Ciani could not react fast enough, which allowed Caicedo all kinds of space to get an uncontested header.
Farrell was immense for the Revolution and nearly got his second assist of the match in the 74th minute. His cross found the outstretched left foot of Teal Bunbury, but Bunbury’s effort hit off the left post.
Cole kept the Galaxy in the match with a goal line clearance five minutes later. Fagundez, who was dangerous all night, slipped Bunbury in behind the defense again. The pass, though, forced the Revs striker to go wide, and his shot attempt was headed away from goal.
In the 84th minute, the Galaxy were brought down to ten men as well after Cole was shown a second yellow card. The former England international wanted a handball on Juan Agudelo. It was not given. So Cole chased down Agudelo and went in from behind.
During stoppage time, LA won a corner after pressing the issue. Alessandrini sent in a far post cross and Dave Romney powered the delivery to level the match at two.
Schmid and the Galaxy would probably have been happy with a draw on this occasion. However, a minute later, they found the go-ahead goal in the third minute of added time.
It started with Alessandrini again, who was on the left wing. He spotted Giovani Dos Santos making a run into the box and sent a diagonal pass his way. Dos Santos left the ball, which fooled Jalil Anibaba. Pontius was there to hit a left footed shot past Miller for his second goal of the match, which wound up as the game winner too.
The LA Galaxy, unbeaten in their last six MLS matches, will head back east again next Saturday. There, they will take on the Philadelphia Union at 4:00 PM at Talen Energy Stadium.