LA started off this game with their gears on high and their foot on the gas pedal. As soon as the whistle blew, they were off and running and it seemed as though TFC just couldn’t keep up. In the 11th minute Juninho took a free kick from outside the 18, and my jaw dropped. This free kick was better than “David Beckham worthy”, it was THAT spectacular. If you didn’t see this free kick, you missed awesomeness (and that is all I will say about that… for now).
After Juni’s free kick/goal, LA turned up the heat. They fired off shot after shot. Even when they weren’t taking shots, LA was becoming a threat to TFC. As the first half started to go along, things started to get chippy on TFC’s part and fouls were being called. Ryan Johnson from TFC was starting to pick up his game, but not without his temper flaring. After a hard tackle on Omar Gonzalez, and then a hard knock on A.J DeLaGarza, Johnson was yellow carded.
LA didn’t let those hard knocks get to them though, because in the 30th minute it became LA’s game. From 40 yards out in the 33rd minute Juninho nailed a shot into the upper corner of the goal to make the score 2-0. It was the typical Juni shot, and nothing less than perfect. Then just three minutes later Robbie Keane ran through traffic in the box and chipped the ball past the keeper to make the score 3-0. But TFC wouldn’t let LA get away without a fight, in the 39th minute TFC came away with a goal as Dunfield scored off a header, thus making the score 3-1.(This was the first goal LA has allowed in 351 minutes)
It was an exciting first half as LA had the majority of possession, and even though LA gave up a goal it was a tremendous first half. Domination is the word that I would use to describe LA’s play. They came away with 12 shots versus TFC’s 2 shots.
As the second half was getting underway, LA still had their foot on the gas pedal. They were firing off shots, but having no luck actually getting them in the goal. LA’s string of passes also became better as the game was going along. It seemed as though everyone wanted to get in on scoring goals as Sean Franklin fired off a shot that forced TFC’s keeper to make a good save. As the second half continued on, things started to die down as both teams took their foot off the gas and set the cruise control. Galaxy was still firing away shots, but again, they were coming up empty handed.
Bruce looked to his bench in the 68th minute and brought on Edson Buddle to turn the heat back up. It didn’t really go the way Bruce probably planned. In the 86th minute TFC came back and made the score 3-2. As things started to get even more hectic, LA had to get off cruise control. The last few minutes were crucial… and they started to make me hyperventilate. It was as if I was watching the game in an “out of body experience”. I wanted to cover my eyes as the ref showed that there would be 3+ minutes of stoppage time. Then out of nowhere an angel appeared, whose name was Robbie Keane. His moves were flawless as he hit the ball near post to make the score 4-2 and put the game out of reach for TFC. It was an emotional second half with things going up and down, but in the end LA came away with the win.
With tonight’s win LA Galaxy have clinched a playoff spot and will begin their run towards the MLS Cup. And with San Jose winning in Seattle LA will move into second place in the Western Conference.
Next Galaxy game will be September 30th against Colorado Rapids.
STATS on tonight’s game; LA Galaxy had 26 shots, 12 corner kicks, and 4 goals. 2 credited to Juninho, and 2 goals to Robbie Keane. Landon Donovan came away with 2 assists, making his total 14 for the year.
photo credit; LA Galaxy’s instagram