Despite a valiant performance down 10 men, the LA Galaxy succumbed to their second loss of the season losing 1-0 to the Portland Timbers.
At the beginning of the match, both teams were competing to gain a foothold in the match in midfield. In as a early as the 7th minute after a failed Galaxy corner, The Timbers scored after a brilliant counter-attack orchestrated by Portland’s brilliant attack. Timbers forward Diego Chara slotted the ball home past Galaxy keeper Clement Diop with Diego Valeri providing the assist.
After the goal, the Timbers were content with sitting back and soaking up pressure to hit on the counter. As the Galaxy were sustaining possession in their attacking third, they weren’t able to create many opportunities to test Timbers keeper Jake Gleeson.
At the most inopportune time in the match, the LA Galaxy were down to ten men in the 33rd minute as center-back Jelle Van Damme received a second yellow on a challenge to Timbers midfielder David Guzman after picking a first booking for dissent. As a result, the Galaxy had to bring on defender Bradley Diallo to replace midfielder Baggio Husidic in the 35th minute.
To make matters worse, Galaxy forward Giovani Dos Santos picked up and injury just before the half time whistle and was replaced by winger Emmanuel Boateng at the beginning of the second half.
While many believed that the Timbers would be buoyed by the sending off, it was the Galaxy who remained on the front foot as they were still maintaining good spells of possession. Despite the good spells of possession, it was Portland who had the first chance of the second half as Diego Valeri had a close range stopped by Diop.
Portland had the best chance to kill the game off in the 72nd minute as Timbers forward Fanendo Adi was one-on-one with Diop but his shot was blocked as he took one too many touches in the 18-yard box.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 13, 2017
That gave LA a lifeline back into the game. The Galaxy had a good chance in the 82nd minute as winger Romain Alessandrini shot his freekick just wide of the net, but the best the chance of the game for the Galaxy came in the 92nd minute as substitute Jose Villareal had his header saved by Gleeson. The Timbers would go on to win 1-0.
Seeking to improve after their loss against against FC Dallas last week, the LA Galaxy were unable to create many chances while holding majority of the possession throughout the match. The Portland Timbers were content to sit back and absorb pressure and hit on the counter. Portland’s game plan worked after a failed corner and their lightening fast attack put the Galaxy to the sword early in the match.
Things didn’t get better for the Los Angeles after Jelle Van Damme got sent off and Giovani Dos Santos went down with an injury, but the Galaxy performed well with ten men. As Portland sat deeper and deeper in their own penalty area, L.A. started to create chance after chance to put the score level. While the Galaxy were on the ascendancy, Portland could have killed the game off if Adi put away his chance 1 v. 1 against goalkeeper Clement Diop.
While starting 0-2 isn’t the end of the world, Los Angeles showed resilience in today’s match with ten men. while it’s too early to tell where the Galaxy will be in the table, they showed that they can turn up the heat in the second half. With injuries and suspensions affecting the Galaxy early on, they can take satisfaction that they played well today in the second half, despite losing.
What’s next for both teams?
LA Galaxy will travel to Salt Lake City to take on Western Conference rivals Real Salt Lake. They will look to end their two game losing streak. Portland Timbers will travel back home to Providence Park in Portland to take on the Houston Dynamo.
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