MLS

MLS: Galaxy claim back-to-back wins to boost play-off hopes, Revs close on Shield

By Sports Desk October 20, 2021

LA Galaxy breathed life into their MLS play-off aspirations after securing back-to-back wins for the first time since August with a 3-0 victory at Houston Dynamo on Wednesday.

Galaxy, who had endured a nine-game winless skid, had beaten Portland Timbers 2-1 on the weekend before backing that up in Houston to reinforce their grip on sixth spot in the Western Conference midweek.

Greg Vanney's Galaxy went ahead in the 39th minute from veteran Sacha Kljestan's penalty, after Maynor Figueroa brought down Kevin Cabral inside the box.

Zarek Valentin's own goal on the stroke of half-time from Efrain Alvarez's cutback doubled Galaxy's advantage.

Two minutes into the second half, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez provided a well-weighted pass for Kevin Cabral to add a third, moving Galaxy up to 45 points and above Real Salt Lake into fifth in the west.

New England Revolution moved another step closer to clinching the Supporters' Shield with a come-from-behind 3-2 win at DC United.

Adam Buksa, Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou all scored within 18 minutes as the Revolution responded to Nigel Robertha's 51st-minute opener for DC United.

The result moved Eastern Conference pacesetters New England to 69 points from 31 games, with Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders closest behind them on 58 points after 30 games after they lost ground following a 1-1 draw with third-placed Colorado Rapids.

Elsewhere, Nashville – second behind New England in the east – drew for the fifth straight game in a 1-1 stalemate against defending MLS champions Columbus Crew and Cristian Arango's hat-trick guided Los Angeles FC past Dallas 3-2.

Inter Miami snapped their six-game losing skid and kept alive their faint play-off aspirations with a 3-0 home victory over Toronto.

Gudmundur Thorarinsson equalised late for New York City but their winless run extended to six games after a 1-1 draw at Atlanta United, Minnesota United were 3-2 winners against Philadelphia Union, Orlando City and Montreal played out a 1-1 draw.

Chicago Fire prevailed 4-3 over struggling FC Cincinnati, Vancouver Whitecaps came from two goals down to win 3-2 away to Portland Timbers, while San Jose Earthquakes eased past lowly Austin 4-0.

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    Having also stunned Napoli in the previous round, Cremonese became the first promoted Serie A side to reach the Coppa Italia's final four since Cagliari in the 2004-05 campaign.

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    "Congratulations to Cremonese. They have achieved two great victories against Napoli and Roma, it's a strange cup that favours small teams, they have even more merit for this," he said.

    "They are deservedly in the semi-final, we pay for a horrible first half, of a low level.

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    "Football is like this, this happens with the top teams and with the smaller teams. In Naples [in Sunday's 2-1 loss at Napoli] we deserved more and for this I was proud, even after the defeat. 

    "Today I can't say, others can comment. My job is to think about the next game.

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    Speaking after Barca piled more pressure on title rivals Real Madrid – who host Valencia on Thursday – Xavi heaped praise on the diminutive midfielder.

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