Playoff time is always nerve wracking. It’s win or go home… and nobody wants to go home in the first round. Tonight’s game was just that for LA. They were out to prove that they could be possible MLS Cup Champs again. If you think back to the beginning of the season, people were skeptical about LA’s chances of even making the playoffs, and now here they are fighting for their chance to win again. When LA Galaxy released the starting lineup for tonight’s game, people were on their toes, and many were surprised. Fans learned that Sean Franklin wouldn’t be apart of the 18, and neither would Christian Wilhelmmson. Franklin is out due to a left leg injury, and Christian has a right leg injury. This wouldn’t stop tonight’s game from being a wildly entertaining one.
Things got started early as the Whitecaps scored in the 4th minute. LA Galaxy’s rookie defenders made some mistakes that resulted in the goal. Shocking is an understatement on how LA fans felt. This was the start of how much LA Galaxy could take, and how much they could dish out. For most of the first half Vancouver sat back being comfortable with their 1-0 lead, but LA had several chances to even the score. It seemed as though everywhere LA tried to pass the ball a Vancouver player was there to intercept it. David Beckham showed a famous free-kick, but Vancouver’s keeper made a spectacular save. Robbie Keane also had a tremendous chance, but Vancouver’s keeper made another great save. Thus the half ended with Vancouver still leading LA Galaxy 1-0.
The second half started off much of the same for both teams. Vancouver played defensive minded, while LA kept attacking. No matter how hard LA tried to get a goal, nothing was falling their way. Even as Bruce Arena made a sub that stunned everyone, bringing Sarvas in for Hector Jimenez. Thus leaving Edson Buddle up top with Keane. When it looked like all hope was about to diminish for LA, Mike Magee became one of the heroes as he scored the equalizer in the 69th minute. Then in the 72nd minute Landon Donovan was brought down in the box and rewarded a PK, AND HE SCORED. LA took the lead in the 73rd minute 2-1 over Vancouver. This goal was extra special for LA Galaxy fans, after speculation that Donovan is retiring after this season, this goal was the kind of thing LA fans liked to see from their captain. Even though LA held the lead for the rest of the half, they did not let their foot off the gas. They kept most of the possession and kept firing off shots. LA came away with the win after one of the most entertaining knockout rounds MLS has ever seen.
LA Galaxy’s next game will be November 4th, against San Jose Earthquakes. LA haven’t won against SJ this season, but next week they are looking to change that.
STATS- Goals; Mike Magee (69′) Landon Donovan (PK 72′)
photo credit- MLS Facebook