MLS

MLS: LA Galaxy claim dramatic El Trafico, Union stay undefeated

By Sports Desk April 09, 2022

LA Galaxy withstood a second-half barrage to win El Trafico, claiming a dramatic 2-1 win over LAFC on Saturday at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Two goals in the opening half hour seemingly had the Galaxy on their way to a comfortable win, but the outcome arguably belied the overall performance, with LAFC on the wrong end of three disallowed goals.

Carlos Vela was ruled offside twice along with Latif Blessing, whose late equaliser was chalked off in the eighth minute of injury time, after Cristian Arango pulled one back in the 79th minute.

Samuel Grandsir assisted twice for the Galaxy, with his first a pinpoint cross at the back post for Javier Hernandez, who cunningly drifted off Mamadou Fall's shoulder in 13th minute.

A second from Sega Coulibaly ultimately proved sufficient, as the Galaxy moved to four wins and one defeat in games where they scored the opening goal in the MLS this season.

The win puts them a point off LAFC in the Western Conference and tied for second with Real Salt Lake, who failed to move to top spot with a 2-2 draw to Toronto.

Philadelphia Union remained top of the Eastern Conference, meanwhile, after their 1-0 win over Columbus Crew.

Union took the lead in only the second minute and in calamitous circumstances, with Crew keeper Eloy Room mishandling a cross into the box, before the ball trickled into his own net.

Jim Curtin's side was content to absorb pressure as the Crew spent the rest of the match trying to break them down, and failed to create anything of substance.

Orlando City moved to second in the East with a 1-0 win over a ten-man Chicago Fire, leapfrogging New York Red Bulls, who lost 2-1 at home to Montreal.

In the other early game on the East Coast, a Leonardo Campana hat-trick gave Inter Miami their first win of the season, in a 3-2 victory over New England Revolution.

In the later games on Saturday, Nashville defeated Sporting KC 2-1, while Houston Dynamo fought from a 2-1 deficit to defeat San Jose Earthquakes 4-3.

Goals from Brandon Servania and Jesus Ferreira on either side of the interval handed Dallas an eventual 3-1 win over Colorado Rapids.

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    Steve Clarke's side travel to Munich in search of their first victory over their opponents since 1999, having failed to beat Die Mannschaft in their previous four encounters.

    The New York Red Bulls winger was a late arrival in Scotland's provisional squad after it was announced Ben Doak had to withdraw through injury, and made it into the travelling group of 26. 

    Morgan ended his six-year absence from the international stage with a substitute appearance in a 2-2 draw against Finland at Hampden Park last week to earn his third cap for his country, 2,193 days since his last. 

    The 27-year-old has scored nine goals in 16 MLS appearances so far this season in the Eastern Conference, and believes his side have every chance of starting their Group A campaign with a victory. 

    "Absolutely, stranger things have happened in football," Morgan said about the possibility of Scotland upsetting the host nation.

    "We've got a really, really talented squad here, a good group of players playing at the highest level in world football.

    "There's no reason why we can't go there and get something, but we can only do that if we give the best version of ourselves and stick to the game plan."

    Following Friday's fixture against Germany, the Scots will face Switzerland before concluding their group campaign in Stuttgart against Hungary, with the hopes of reaching the knockout stages of an international competition for the first time in their history. 

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    Five players scored twice for their respective teams, including Guyana’s Deon Moore, Dominican Republic’s Rafael Mata and Dorny Romero, and Puerto Rico’s Jeremy de Leon and Wilfredo Rivera.

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    Aruba got the perfect start they desired, when Walter Bennett headed home from close range to gift them a 22nd-minute lead, before Isai Marselia added a second from the penalty spot in the 43rd minute.

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    Ethan Bristow found the all-important goal in the 12th minute when he pounced on a rebound.

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    After playing out a goalless first half, Deon Moore finished off an Omari Glasgow pass in the 66th minute to put Guyana ahead.

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    Moore completed his brace in the 71st with a flick of the ball inside the box to redirect Nathan Moriah-Welsh’s pass.

    However, Carlos Bernardez pulled one back for Belize in the 88th, as he rose above defenders to head home Jahryl Smith’s weighted cross.

    The win moved the Golden Jaguars up to third place in the group, behind Nicaragua and Panama, on six points each.