MLS teams from Los Angeles had mixed success in their challenges last night. Even though both of them played draws against their respective opponents, LAFC advanced to the knockout stage of the MLS is Back tournament, and Galaxy hasn’t.
The FC played against Portland Timbers, 2-2, and was denied to win the first place in Group F. Timbers’ Jeremy Ebobisse prevented LAFC from getting an extra day of rest, with a goal in the 81st minutes, which would push Portland to the top of the assembly with seven points, leaving Bob Bradley’s team behind with five.
Timbers were the ones who broke the bank, and that happened after just seven minutes of play. Jaroslaw Niezgoda marked his first start for the boys from Portland, using Sebastian Blanco’s perfectly timed assist to coolly execute and lift his team.
The response from the other side, was more than strong, and until the end of the halftime, FC managed to be ahead. With two goals in four minutes, the last year’s Supporters’ Shield winners turned the game upside down.
Bradley Wright-Phillips and Mark-Anthony Kaye were the scorers in a four-minute blitz that would stun the Timbers. However, LAFC didn’t have the strength to finish the job and to take all three points.
In the second match of the group, Galaxy played 1-1 with Houston Dynamo, who didn’t advance further because of this result. The boys from Texas experience one nasty failure, as they conceded a goal in the 90+1 minute from the penalty, suffering, and elimination.
Up until that moment, they had everything in their hands. In the end, they finished on the last position in the rankings of the third-placed teams in their groups. With a win, they would be first. After Pavon’s goal, New York City advanced to the Round of 16.
Darwin Quintero got the lead for the Dynamo in the 17th minute, scoring from a perfectly taken free-kick from some 25 yards away. After that, many believed that the Galaxy would surrender, but such a scenario didn’t happen.
The knockout stage begins tomorrow, with two games taking place- Orlando City vs. Montreal Impact and Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution.
As for LAFC, they meet Seattle Sounders on July 27. Timbers clash with Cincinnati one day later.