Sacha Kljestan’s late penalty helps Galaxy top Portland

  • LA Galaxy defender Derrick Williams, center, heads the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos, right, controls the ball in front of Portland Timbers midfielder Cristhian Paredes during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark (12) stops a shot from LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy defender Derrick Williams defends against Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco (10) during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, right, heads the ball during the first half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers forward Yimmi Chara (23) tries to kick the ball, as LA Galaxy defender Nick DePuy heads it during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers forward Yimmi Chara controls the ball during the first half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the LA Galaxy on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers defender Pablo Bonilla, left, dribbles past LA Galaxy forward Kevin Cabral (9) during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan scores on a penalty kick during the second half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan, center, celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick during the second half against the Portland Timbers in an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Efrain Alvarez, right, dribbles against the Portland Timbers during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy defender Derrick Williams, right, works against Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, right, reacts after a missed shot on a goal during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget, right, dribbles against the Portland Timbers during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, center left, celebrates with a teammate after a win over the Portland Timbers during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, left, reacts after a foul during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, center, celebrates after a win over the Portland Timbers during an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) kicks the ball into the net for a goal during the second half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco, center (10) is hugged by teammates after his goal during the second half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the LA Galaxy on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy defender Julian Araujo leaps over Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) celebrates his goal next to Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) kicks the ball into the net for a goal during the second half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond, left, watches as the ball goes over his head for a goal on a kick from Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan, center, celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick against the Portland Timbers during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan, center, celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick during the second half against the Portland Timbers in an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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CARSON — At times this season, the Galaxy looked to be a lock for the MLS Cup Playoffs.

In the cruel world of Major League Soccer, it is best not to count your chickens before they’re hatched.

On Saturday night, feeling the crunch on the season and the weight of a nine-game winless streak, the Galaxy finally exhaled a bit thanks to Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s 62nd-minute goal and later Sacha Kljestan’s successful penalty, to lead the way to a 2-1 win and breathed some much-needed life into its playoff lives.

“For sure there was an exhale,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said. “But I do feel like from the group there was a confidence building, it was something that they deserved, they’ve deserved it I felt during this stretch and we didn’t get it. I hope the group feels like there is a shift in momentum here that we got over the hump and we got a real opportunity in the coming week to take more points.”

With the score tied at 1-1, Efrain Alvarez on the ball, made two cutting moves and was fouled in the box and referee Victor Rivas pointed to the penalty spot in the second minute of stoppage time.

Kljestan stepped up and converted, just under Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark.

“I thought were in total control, we had a lot of possession, we created some great chances and it felt like one of those games in the first half where, they were going to get one chance and they were going to score,” Kljestan said. “They scored a fluky goal and you go, oh no, not again.

“To get that win in the end, I think it is a big exhale for everybody and now, hopefully, it is start of winning streak or an unbeaten run.”

Kljestan never hesitated with his kick, going to Clark’s right and beating him. He said he doesn’t focus on the goalkeeper’s tendencies.

“I don’t pay attention to the goalies,” he said. “I decide the morning of the game where I’m going to shoot if I get a penalty. This morning, I had a feeling we were going to get a penalty, I just didn’t know if I would be on the field to take it or not. I knew when I put the ball down, I was going to shoot that way.”

With the win, the Galaxy, who could have fallen below the playoff line if results went a certain way on Sunday, moved up to sixth on 42 points, tied with Real Salt Lake.

The Galaxy is now 12-11-6 with five games remaining

The Galaxy’s opening goal was much deserved considering how the team dominated the first half and into the second half.

Still, it came from a bit of nothing. Julian Araujo’s cross for the far post. Portland defender Larry’s Mabiala, instead of clearing the ball, leaped over it, thinking it was going to roll out. However, Hernandez didn’t quit, going low with a slide to poke the ball in.

In the 72nd minute, Portland’s Sebastian Blanco found himself unmarked on the left and shot in a chip shot that eluded Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond to make it 1-1.

The goal sucked the life out of the crowd as the game went into the additional four minutes of added time, it looked as if the Galaxy was headed for what would have been a disappointing draw.

This was the third meeting of the season between the teams. They had split the previous two.

The Galaxy started the game looking like a team that had figured things out, putting the Timbers under pressure from the outset of the game. Unfortunately, despite the pressure and the near chances, the final act of putting the ball into the goal was never accomplished, sending the teams into halftime scoreless.

The Galaxy will return to action Wednesday at Houston.

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Sacha Kljestan’s late penalty lifts Galaxy to win over Portland Timbers

  • LA Galaxy defender Derrick Williams, center, heads the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos, right, controls the ball in front of Portland Timbers midfielder Cristhian Paredes during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark (12) stops a shot from LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy defender Derrick Williams defends against Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco (10) during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, right, heads the ball during the first half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers forward Yimmi Chara (23) tries to kick the ball, as LA Galaxy defender Nick DePuy heads it during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers forward Yimmi Chara controls the ball during the first half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the LA Galaxy on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers defender Pablo Bonilla, left, dribbles past LA Galaxy forward Kevin Cabral (9) during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan scores on a penalty kick during the second half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan, center, celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick during the second half against the Portland Timbers in an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Efrain Alvarez, right, dribbles against the Portland Timbers during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy defender Derrick Williams, right, works against Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, right, reacts after a missed shot on a goal during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget, right, dribbles against the Portland Timbers during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, center left, celebrates with a teammate after a win over the Portland Timbers during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, left, reacts after a foul during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez, center, celebrates after a win over the Portland Timbers during an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) kicks the ball into the net for a goal during the second half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco, center (10) is hugged by teammates after his goal during the second half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the LA Galaxy on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy defender Julian Araujo leaps over Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) celebrates his goal next to Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) kicks the ball into the net for a goal during the second half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond, left, watches as the ball goes over his head for a goal on a kick from Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan, center, celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick against the Portland Timbers during the second half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan, center, celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick during the second half against the Portland Timbers in an MLS soccer match Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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CARSON — At times this season the Galaxy looked to be a lock for the MLS Cup Playoffs.

In the cruel world of Major League Soccer, it is best not to count your chickens before they’re hatched.

Saturday, feeling the crunch on the season and the weight of a nine-game winless streak, the Galaxy finally exhaled a bit thanks to a Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s 62nd minute goal and later Sacha Kljestan’s successful penalty, to lead the way to a 2-1 win and breathed some much-needed life into its playoff lives.

“For sure there was an exhale,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said. “But I do feel like from the group there was a confidence building, it was something that they deserved, they’ve deserved it I felt during this stretch and we didn’t get it. I hope the group feels like there is a shift in momentum here that we got over the hump and we got a real opportunity in the coming week to take more points.”

With the game tied at 1-1, Efrain Alvarez on the ball, made two cutting moves and was fouled in the box and referee Victor Rivas pointed to the penalty spot in the second minute of stoppage time..

Kljestan stepped up and converted, just under Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark.

“I thought were in total control, we had a lot of possession, we created some great chances and it felt like one of those games in the first half where, they were going to get one chance and they were going to score,” Kljestan said. “They scored a fluky goal and you go, oh no, not again.

“To get that win in the end, I think it is a big exhale for everybody and now, hopefully, it is start of winning streak or an unbeaten run.”

Kljestan never hesitated with his kick, going to Clark’s right and beating him. He said he doesn’t focus on the goalkeeper’s tendencies.

“I don’t pay attention to the goalies,” he said. “I decide the morning of the game where I’m going to shoot if I get a penalty. This morning, I had a feeling we were going to get a penalty, I just didn’t know if I would be on the field to take it or not. I knew when I put the ball down, I was going to shoot that way.”

With the win, the Galaxy, who could have fallen below the playoff line if results went a certain way on Sunday, moved up to sixth on 42 points, tied with Real Salt Lake.

The Galaxy is now 12-11-6 with five games remaining

The Galaxy’s opening goal was much deserved considering how the Galaxy dominated the game in the first half and into the second half.

Still, it came from a bit of nothing. Julian Araujo’s cross for the far post. Portland defender Larry’s Mabiala, instead of clearing the ball, leapt over it, thinking it was going to roll out. However, Hernandez didn’t quit, going low with a slide to poke the ball in.

In the 72nd minute, Portland’s Sebastian Blanco found himself unmarked on the left and shot in a chip shot that eluded Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond to make it 1-1.

The goal sucked the life out of the crowd as the game went into the additional four minutes of added time, it looked as if the Galaxy was headed for what would have been a disappointing draw.

This was the third meeting of the season between the teams. They had split the previous two.

The Galaxy started the game looking like a team that had figured things out, putting the Timbers under pressure from the outset of the game. Unfortunately, despite the pressure and the near chances, the final act of putting the ball into the goal was never accomplished, sending the teams into halftime scoreless.

The Galaxy will return to action Wednesday on the road at the Houston Dynamo.

Read more about Sacha Kljestan’s late penalty lifts Galaxy to win over Portland Timbers This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

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El Tráfico: Grandsir, Bond help Galaxy tie with LAFC

  • Confetti flies as former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan’s statue is unveiled at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan, center, waves to fans during his statue unveiling at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan name is placed in the stadium during his induction into Galaxy’s Ring of Honor at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan speaks during his induction into Galaxy’s Ring of Honor at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan mimics his statue during its unveiling at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy fans wait for the statue unveiling of former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan admires his statue during its unveiling at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy mascot Cozmo walks along former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan during his inductrion into Galaxy’s Ring of Honor at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy fans hold up a banner during the statue unveiling for former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan mimics his statue during its unveiling at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan, center, prepares to speak during his statue unveiling at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan, center, speaks during his statue unveiling at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan, center, walks on stage to applause during his statue unveiling at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan, center, speaks during his statue unveiling at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Former Los Angeles Galaxy player Landon Donovan, center, speaks during his statue unveiling at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos (8) battles Los Angeles FC midfielder Eduard Atuesta (20) and forward Cristian Arango (29) during the first half of a MLS match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Samuel Grandsir (11), right, after scoring a goal during the first half of a MLS match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles FC defender Mamadou Fall (5) scores a goal on a header from behind the Los Angeles Galaxy players during the first half of a MLS match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy defender Sega Coulibaly (4) cashes down the ball followed by Los Angeles FC forward Brian Rodriguez (17) during the first half of a MLS match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

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CARSON — There were no losers among Los Angeles’s soccer faithful on Sunday.

There were no winners, either, yet a 1-1 tie between the Los Angeles Football Club and the L.A. Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park provided a desperately needed change of pace for two sides that entered the third “El Trafico” of 2021 reeling from three-match losing streaks in the heat of a playoff chase.

Messages from coaches on both benches were similar during a moment in which L.A.’s Major League Soccer teams are struggling to qualify for the MLS Cup playoffs.

A break here. Some luck there. A fortunate bounce. Keep working. Keep pushing. Something good will hopefully give as the rivals settled in for their third match in less than 10 days.

A choppy first half included five yellow cards from referee Armando Villarreal, who received plenty of flack from both sides, particularly opposing forwards Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Brian Rodriguez. LAFC limited the Galaxy star forward to one shot on 38 touches, and in the 67 minutes Rodriguez played he managed one quality shot.

“A hard fought game. A difficult derby,” LAFC head coach Bob Bradley said. “I thought our mentality was very good and I’m really proud of the way players pushed and competed.”

Villarreal didn’t hand out more bookings in the second half, but the intensity and choppiness of the match remained high.

“I think guys are battling to get the three points that we all feel we need to shift momentum and see some breathing space in the table,” said Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney, whose team is now winless in its last nine contests. “But we didn’t get it.

“We’re looking for any break right now just to get momentum. We’re looking to connect in any situation that can fall in our favor because I think the guys are working really hard.”

Despite the best efforts of the five-time MLS champions, it was LAFC that opened the scoring in the 11th minute.

Defender Mamadou Fall dusted Galaxy Rayan Raveloson on his approach to the six-yard box, where the 18-year-old center back rose above three Galaxy defenders to meet Eduard Atuesta’s corner kick with his head.

During 13 appearances this season, the lanky Senegalese player has scored three goals, all the headed variety.

“Years ago I was in high school watching ‘El Trafico,’” Fall said. ‘Now I’m able to score. It’s great. Both teams came out with intensity trying to win.”

The Galaxy brought an announced sell-out crowd of 25,174 to life in the 19th minute when French midfielder Samuel Grandsir broke the LAFC backline thanks to a through ball from his Spanish teammate Victor Vazquez.

Grandsir needed one touch to dribble past LAFC goalkeeper Jamal Blackman and pass the ball into the back of the net for his third goal of the season.

“Today I gave a good assist but the finish from Samuel was great,” said Vazquez, who was subbed off 55 minutes into the physical contest.

Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond made several key stops among his six saves to keep his team in the game by denying Rodriguez’s low hard shot in the first half, a Cristian Arango attempt to start the second and a dangerous strike by Francisco Ginella with an hour to go.

“I want to recognize the team effort,” Arango said. “Everyone played well and we fought to the end. I feel the result was just tonight.”

LAFC totaled 14 shots, seven on target, in a match Bradley said did not represent his team’s best passing display because it opted for too many long balls instead of connecting quicker connections.

Recording zero saves in the match, LAFC goalie Jamal Blackman was less influential in his second consecutive start than the fellow English goalie on the other side of the field. But he, too, was the beneficiary of the Galaxy’s misfortunate when a Nicholas DePuy header hit the crossbar.

Breaks on both sides failed to come as the looked for the lead and shots bounded off the woodwork.

“I think sometimes we were rushing our attacks,” said Vanney, who challenged his players to move forward and build speed into their attack. “We didn’t allow for some of our attacks to develop.”

“We’ve got to make the goalkeeper make more saves,” he continued. “We’re at that time of year when you want to put multiple balls on net and we want to score as much as we can.”

The Galaxy (11-11-6, 39 points) and LAFC (9-12-7, 34 points) remain within five points of one another as the league pauses for two weeks for World Cup qualifying.

Read more about El Tráfico: Grandsir, Bond help Galaxy tie with LAFC This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

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Ricardo Pepi notches hat trick, FC Dallas blanks Galaxy 4-0

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Led by Ricardo Pepi’s three-goal performance, Dallas secured a 4-0 victory over the LA Galaxy on Saturday.

Pepi notched the first goal for Dallas (3-7-5) in the 27th minute, assisted by Andres Ricaurte. Pepi put Dallas ahead 2-0 in the 44th minute.

Pepi gave Dallas a 3-0 advantage in the 50th minute, assisted by Szabolcs Schon. Jader Obrian sealed the victory for Dallas in the 88th minute, assisted by Justin Che.

The Galaxy (8-6-1) outshot Dallas 12-7, with four shots on goal to five for Dallas.

Jimmy Maurer saved all four shots he faced for Dallas. Jonathan Bond saved one of the five shots he faced for the Galaxy.

Dallas’ next match is Saturday on the road against Sporting Kansas City. The Galaxy host the Portland Timbers on Friday.

Read more about Ricardo Pepi notches hat trick, FC Dallas blanks Galaxy 4-0 This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. OC Shredding Business

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Caicedo, Dájome score, Whitecaps beat Galaxy

SANDY, Utah (AP) — Déiber Caicedo and Cristian Dájome scored second-half goals and the Vancouver Whitecaps ended an eight-game winless streak with a 2-1 victory over the LA Galaxy on Saturday night.

Dájome capped the scoring for the Whitecaps (4-7-3) in the 77th minute on a give-and-go with Brian White.

Caicedo tied it in the 48th with a low-hard volley to finish the rebound of a goalkeeper deflection.

Rayan Raveloson opened the scoring in the fifth minute for the Galaxy (8-6-0) with a header of Víctor Vázquez’s cross.

Read more about Caicedo, Dájome score, Whitecaps beat Galaxy This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Tustin Shredding Service near me

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Galaxy gets a bounce-back win against FC Dallas

  • Galaxy defender Nick DePuy leaps to kick the ball during the second half of Wednesday’s match against FC Dallas in Carson. The Galaxy won, 3-1. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • FC Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer (20) makes a save during the first half of an MLS soccer game against the Galaxy Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget, center, controls the ball against FC Dallas midfielder Edwin Cerrillo, right, during the first half of an MLS soccer game Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • FC Dallas forward Franco Jara (29) shoots past Galaxy defender Julian Araujo (2) during the second half of an MLS soccer game Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget, left, kicks the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer game against the FC Dallas Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Carson, Calif. FC Dallas forward Jesus Ferreira (9) is second from right. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Galaxy midfielder Rayan Raveloson (6) celebrates after scoring a goal during the first half of an MLS soccer game against FC Dallas Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • FC Dallas forward Jader Obrian (7) pulls the jersey of Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan (16) during the second half of an MLS soccer game Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Galaxy defender Nick DePuy, left, midfielder Sacha Kljestan, right, and FC Dallas forward Jesus Ferreira, center, battle for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer game Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget (17) celebrates with midfielder Kevin Cabral (9) after Cabral scored a goal during the first half of an MLS soccer game against FC Dallas Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget, front, celebrates with midfielder Kevin Cabral after Cabral scored a goal during the first half of their 3-1 victory over FC Dallas on Wednesday night in Carson. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Galaxy players celebrate their 3-1 victory over FC Dallas after their MLS soccer game Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • A fan waves a flag in the stands before Wednesday’s match between the L.A. Galaxy and FC Dallas on Wednesday night in Carson. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

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CARSON — Any question as to whether the Galaxy could score with Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez missing his second consecutive game was answered early Wednesday.

Hernandez injured his calf while warming up for Sunday’s game against Sporting Kansas City, a game in which the Galaxy was shut out.

On Wednesday night, the wait for a goal wasn’t long.

Rayan Raveloson, in his second game with the Galaxy, opened the scoring against FC Dallas by soaring for a header off of a corner kick in the 17th minute. Ten minutes later, Kevin Cabral scored his first goal as a member of the Galaxy.

The early offense proved to be a much-needed boost, sending the Galaxy (8-4, 24 points) to a 3-1 victory in front of 16,453 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

The Galaxy remains in third place in the Western Conference, behind Seattle (29 points) and Kansas City (24 points).

“We rewarded ourselves for the opportunities that we were created. I thought the first half was well-played and the rewards were there because of the way we played,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said. “The second half it was good to get that third goal, a little bit against the play, a little bit some hard work from Ethan (Zubak) to track one down and put the center back under some pressure and just because he put in the shift, he got the opportunity to put it away.

“In the end, great effort to see the game out by the guys in a tough turnaround and a good bounce back from the game the other day.”

The starting lineup that Vanney sent out Wednesday had managed just three goals this season (two from Sacha Kljestan and one from Sebastian Lletget).

Even though Cabral has played just seven games, he had created several golden opportunities this season and, as Vanney said Tuesday, had found himself in good position several times but had yet to score.

He finally got in the books after taking a perfect cut-back pass from Lletget. Cabral was alone inside the 18-yard line and slotted the ball inside the near post.

In Sunday’s game against Kansas City, the Galaxy had just six available substitutes, and the Galaxy again entered a game short of healthy bodies. The roster was missing 10 players to injury, suspension or international duty. Earlier in the day, the Galaxy signed Daniel Aguirre and Josh Drack from Galaxy II in an attempt to add depth.

In the 71st minute against Dallas, the visitors spoiled what would have been the perfect evening for the Galaxy as Franco Jara scored to cut the margin to 3-1.

Zubak had given the Galaxy a 3-0 lead in the 51st minute thanks to some careless Dallas defense. Ryan Hollingshead tried to play a long aerial ball back to his goalkeeper, but the attempt was short, allowing Zubak to race in, dribble away and shoot into the open net.

The win continues the Galaxy’s streak of bouncing back after a loss. The team has followed each of its four defeats this season with a win in the following game.

“The guys had a strong mentality and they came out with the endeavor to push for the game, to go get a result,” Vanney said. “Ultimately, the ability to bounce from losses is to know who you are and know what it is that makes you successful and how you want to play and you never lose track of that.

“When things don’t go the way you want, you can always find that foundation and build off that again and this group has. … That’s part of the process of learning exactly who you are and how you get results, and this group has taken that on fast and it’s been an enjoyable process and we still think we have a lot of space we can continue to grow.”

The Galaxy will be off until July 17, when the team plays at Vancouver to begin a stretch of three straight road games.

RELIVE A WILD NIGHT, Y’ALL 🤠 pic.twitter.com/I90M5gnkl7

— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) July 8, 2021

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Galaxy loses Chicharito Hernandez before the game, falls to Sporting Kansas City

CARSON >> It was a costly night for the Galaxy, with the first loss coming before the start of the game against Sporting Kansas City.

During warm-ups before the start of Sunday’s game against Sporting Kansas City, Galaxy forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez was forced out of the lineup due to a calf injury. The club said the move was precautionary, but with it, went the offense.

Ethan Zubak replaced Hernandez in the starting lineup, leaving the Galaxy with just six available substitutes, with one being goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann. Entering the game, the Galaxy had scored 17 goals, with Hernandez accounting for 10.

Despite the absence of Chicharito, the Galaxy was the dangerous team in the first half and for most of the second half, but in the end Johnny Russell’s 81st minute goal proved to be the decider giving SKC a 2-0 road win in front of 23,556.

“We have to score,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said. “Doesn’t matter how well you play, in some ways we’re in a process and we’re trying to teach, to get everybody on the same page, we’re bringing new guys in …there is something to take away from the game because we did do a lot of things well over the course of the game, but at the end of the day, we want to win the game.

“We don’t want to keep talking about moral performance victories …We need to score, we deserve to take something from this game.”

The Galaxy (7-4) remains in third place in the Western Conference on 21 points, now five points behind Seattle and SKC (26 points)

The teams didn’t meet last season. In 2019, the Galaxy won both meetings (7-2 and 2-0).

They will meet again Oct. 27 in Kansas City.

Russell’s goal overshadowed the fact that the Galaxy had the better run of things throughout the game, but with Hernandez, getting the ball into the net proved to be a challenging task. The Galaxy had five shots on goal in the first half, compared to none for SKC.

For every promising push forward, the Galaxy would see things fizzle out, either on a save by SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia or a miscommunication between the midfield and the forwards.

Hernandez’s injury wasn’t the only one that hit the Galaxy. Center back Sega Coulilbaly was subbed off in the 40th minute due to a right abductor injury. He was replaced by Adam Saldana.

With the short bench, the Galaxy didn’t have a defender available on the bench, so Coulilbaly’s injury forced Rayan Raveloson, who was making his debut, to drop back to the back line, with Saldana taking his place in the defensive midfield.

Late in the second half, with the Galaxy chasing the game, SKC’s Khiry Shelton put it away late into extra time.

Sunday was the first game of a six-game month for the Galaxy and the first one with the roster affected by the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Efrain Alvarez and Jonathan dos Santos (Mexico), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Costa Rica) and Oniel Fisher (Jamaica) were all unavailable due national team duties.

The Galaxy has a short turnaround this week, with FC Dallas visiting Wednesday and after the that, the club will be off until July 17.

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Smith, Ruidíaz lift Sounders past Galaxy

SEATTLE (AP) — Brad Smith scored one goal and assisted on another, Raúl Ruidíaz scored twice, and the Seattle Sounders stymied Javier Hernández and the Los Angeles Galaxy in a 3-0 win on Sunday night.

Seattle remained unbeaten on the young season, getting a pair of goals three minutes apart in the first half and keeping Chicharito from continuing his early-season scoring barrage for the Galaxy.

It was Seattle’s goal-scoring sniper who gave the Sounders the early advantage in the 20th minute, when Ruidíaz volleyed a cross from Smith past Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond.

Three minutes later, Smith completed a terrific build up by the Sounders following up his initial shot that was saved by Bond for his second straight game with a goal. Smith had Seattle’s only goal in its 1-1 draw with Los Angeles FC last week.

Ruidíaz added a second goal late in second-half stoppage time, giving him four goals on the young season.

“We all know what we kind of need to do in every position. … For me personally it’s good that I can go forward and join the attack,” Smith said. “I can definitely get forward more and help the team.”

While Seattle gave itself numerous scoring chances at the Galaxy goal, its defense also managed to make Chicharito mostly invisible after his blistering start to the season.

“They’re a very good team who has been together for a while and exposed a lot of things for us, and for me that that we need to continue to improve upon. That’s what today was,” first-year Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said.

Hernández had five goals in the first two games for the Galaxy, scoring a pair in their opening 3-2 victory over Inter Miami and following up with a hat trick in last week’s 3-2 victory over the New York Red Bulls. Hernández was just the second player in league history to have five goals in the first two games of the season, joining former Houston star Brian Chang.

Seattle was determined not to let Chicharito have the same influence. Hernández had just one shot and never found himself open in a scoring position. The Galaxy had just two shots on goal in the match.

“I thought we just did a really nice job of cutting off his service and not allowing him to dictate game inside the penalty box,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said.

There was also a brief injury scare early in the second half when Hernández landed awkwardly leaping for a header and immediately grabbed at his left foot. Hernández was checked by athletic trainers and after a couple minutes of limping appeared to be fine.

Seattle’s domination in possession and limiting touches for Hernández led to numerous scoring chances for the Sounders in the second half. Kelyn Rowe had a pair of terrific chances, the best a header that bounced of the crossbar and post but didn’t cross the goal line.

Seattle finished with nine shots on goal, but it was the defensive effort that drew most of the praise. Seattle and Orlando City are the only two teams in the league to have played three games and allowed just one goal.

“It’s difficult to break us down and that’s what we wanted to do. … You saw a little bit of frustration form Chicharito and I thought defensively we did a very good job,” Rowe said.

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Galaxy knocks off Real Salt Lake to remain in chase for playoff spot

CARSON >> The Galaxy’s playoff chances are still alive thanks to Sunday’s complete effort against Real Salt Lake.

It had been a difficult week with the firing of coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto and staff, Thursday. Assistant coach Dominic Kinnear was installed as interim coach for the second time in the last three years.

Whatever Kinnear told them, it worked as the Galaxy looked balanced and compact from the outset of the game.

Giancarlo Gonzalez (18th minute) and Cristian Pavon (65th) provided the goals and the team dug in their heels on defense and recorded a hard-fought 2-1 win over RSL.

“I’m really happy for the win, really happy for the guys,” Kinnear said. It keeps the playoff hopes alive. I thought the first 45 minutes we were very good, created some very good chances, kept our shape really well, limited their looks.

“Obviously in the 2nd half we were a little bit sloppy with the ball in some bad areas, getting caught forward at times when we should be a little bit more alert to when the ball is turning, over especially on the goal for them. Then you have to give Salt Lake credit, they were throwing a lot of numbers forward. We looked a little tired, I’ll be honest with you on that, they were kind of hanging on a little on there at the end ….So first 45 (minutes), I give a complete thumbs up to everything we spoke about and the second 45, I just give them a thumbs up for absolute heart and courage, so congratulations to them.”

With MLS using points per game to decide the playoff positioning due to some teams, including the Galaxy, not being able to reach the complete 23-game regular season, the win moves the Galaxy points per game average to 1.05, leaving the club in fourth place in a four-team race for the final two remaining playoff spots in the Western Conference.

The Galaxy had the perfect first half to erase its porous performance from last Wednesday’s game against the Portland Timbers. In that game, the Galaxy allowed three goals in the first 30 minutes on its way to a 5-2 loss.

Gonzalez opened the scoring rising for a header off a free kick in the 18th minute. For the remainder of the first half, the Galaxy, from man-to-man, went about their job doing the extra work, something that has been missing for long stretches this season.

In the 51st minute, Gonzalez, again came up with a big moment, racing back to clear a shot by Corey Baird off of the line.

With the game sitting at 1-0, Pavon worked some of his magic, beating three RSL defenders and sliding a perfectly placed ball by a goalkeeper Andrew Putna for a 2-0 lead.

“Well, I think everyone is mentally disappointed at what happened with the coaching change,” Kinnear said. “I think any time that happens, you have to have a feel for the situation and your involvement in it. So like I’ve said before, Guillermo (Barros Schelotto) is I think a very good coach and I think a very good person, so any time that happens to anybody you spend a lot of time with there is a touch of sadness, especially when you have a little bit of responsibility, we all do, with what’s happened in the situation for the Galaxy this year.

“I thought the first little bit of the game, I thought we looked good for a goal we were getting to the byline a couple of times and looking menacing. So I think when that (Giancarlo Gonzalez) goal went in, it gave the guys a complete lift, you know even at halftime it gives them something to hold onto and to protect.”

The Galaxy will return to action Wednesday at home against the Seattle Sounders and then conclude the regular season Sunday in Portland against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

“What we want the next three games is what we saw tonight, give our all, try to win them all because we know we have a good team with good players,” Gonzalez said. “We have to give it our best shot to prove to ourselves that we can compete with honor and pride.”

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Kai Koreniuk’s late goal snaps Galaxy’s six-game losing streak

CARSON — As frustrating as the six-game losing streak had been, Sunday’s effort almost fell in the same category until the 90th minute.

Just when it looked as though the Galaxy’s best collective effort in a month would go to waste, late sub Kai Koreniuk scored the lone goal of the game to lift the Galaxy (5-9-3, 18 points) to a much-needed 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps at Dignity Health Sports Park.

“First of all, the goal was just awesome, it was really cool,” he said. “Really awesome to score, just absolute adrenaline rush to get that opportunity to get that goal.

“I did speak with (Galaxy coach) Guillermo (Barros Schelotto) about a week ago. I hadn’t been in the (gameday) lineup so I just wanted to ask him is there anything I can do or what can I do and he just said just be patient, keep working hard and your chance will come. … And here I am.”

  • Los Angeles Galaxy forward Cristian Pavon (10) jumps in the air to attempt a goal shot against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the second half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann (33) makes a save against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the second half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

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  • Los Angeles Galaxy forward Kai Koreniuk (28) reacts after scoring the wining goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the second half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) vies for the ball against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the second half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy defender Emiliano Insua (3) goes after a lose ball against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the first half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy defender Perry Kitchen (2) headers the ball against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the second half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Yony Gonzalez (11) vies for the ball against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the first half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy forward Kai Koreniuk (28) dribbles the ball against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the second half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget (17) tries to recover the ball against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the first half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Yony Gonzalez (11) vies for the ball against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the first half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget (17) kicks the ball against against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the first half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy forward Cristian Pavon (10) moves the ball against Vancouver Whitecaps defender Jake Nerwinski (28) during the first half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Yony Gonzalez (11) dribbles the ball against Vancouver Whitecaps defender Ranko Veselinovic (4) during the first half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto looks on during the first half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Efrain Alvarez (26) fights for the ball Vancouver Whitecaps defender Ali Adnan (53) during the second half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) takes a goal shot against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the second half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Efrain Alvarez (26) looks for an open teammate against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the first half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy defender Julian Araujo (22) brings the ball down the pitch against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the second half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez (14) brings the ball down the pitch against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the first half of a Major League Soccer match at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Sunday October 18, 2020. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, Contributing Photographer)

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After several near-misses in the second half, Cristian Pavon’s cross found a streaking Koreniuk, who was making a near-post run. All he had to do was get it by Evan Bush and that’s what he did.

“Sometimes when a team need to win, sometimes they change and get nervous and then get disorganized,” Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto. “The team played well, we managed the ball and the game. We never could get the goal, but it appeared in the last minute and we deserved to win.”

It was Koreniuk’s first goal of his MLS career and just his second appearance. He’s played a total of four minutes. He entered the game in the 87th minute, replacing Sebastian Lletget.

Koreniuk, 22, was signed from LA Galaxy II in June. Last year, he was the LA Galaxy II Player of the Year.

“I’m just trying to be patient, just waiting for my chance,” he said of his season so far. “Working hard in training and then whenever I do get an opportunity like this, try to pounce on it. There’s not really much I can do just be patient and try to be a like a spark plug for the team when I come on.”

As the losses mounted in recent weeks, the seat upon which coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto sat got warmer and warmer. He’s in the second year of a three-year contract. Last year’s team, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic made the playoffs. This year, things haven’t gone smoothly at all.

During the losing streak, the Galaxy often appeared overmatched, but things looked different in the first half Sunday as it came out compact on defense, kept its shape and one with a plan going forward, two areas the team looked incapable of doing in previous games.

The first substitution was made by the Galaxy with Javier “Chicarito” Hernandez coming on in the 50th minute to replace Yony Gonzalez.

Gonzalez showed signs of being a dangerous threat in the first half, working his way into good positions, but was taken down by the Vancouver defense several times and it took a physical toll that left him limping off the field.

In the second half, the Galaxy had its moments, but couldn’t capitalize and seemed almost certain to walk off the field with a scoreless draw.

Chicharito had at least three point-blank chances to add to his one-goal total on the season, but he had one shot blocked by a Vancouver defender, another he sent into the empty stands and the third he wasn’t able to steer it on goal.

“He (Chicharito) started on the bench because I decided to play with only one striker and I decided on Yony Gonzalez,” Schelotto said. “It was important for the team to win, and maybe he will feel a little less pressure because everyone was talking about him and I think this will be very good for him to get confidence and to be calm.”

The Galaxy hadn’t won since Sept. 6, the final victory in a four-game winning streak. The club followed that with a scoreless draw against San Jose and it had been all losses since then.

This was the second meeting between the teams. Vancouver defeated the Galaxy 1-0 all the way back on March 7, the Galaxy’s home opener.

The Galaxy will return to action Sunday, Oct. 25 at LAFC.

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