Landon Donovan rescues late point for LA Galaxy against Sporting Kansas City

Landon Donavon scored his first goal since coming out of retirement in dramatic fashion.

Landon Donovan rescues late point for LA Galaxy against Sporting Kansas City
Landon Donovan was on the pitch for a matter of seconds before scoring | Source: LA Galaxy Twitter - @LAGalaxy)
Sporting Kansas City
2 2
LA Galaxy
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Saad Abdul-Salaam, Kevin Ellis, Matt Besler, Jimmy Medranda (Nuno Coelho 87); Benny Feilhaber, Soni Mustivar, Roger Espinoza (C); Jacob Peterson, Dom Dwyer, Brad Davis (Diego Rubio 64)
LA Galaxy: Brian Rowe; Robbie Rogers, Daniel Steres, Jelle Van Damme, Ashley Cole; Raul Mendiola (Landon Donovan 74), Jeff Larentowicz, Sebastian Lletget, Emmanuel Boateng (Rafael Garcia 82); Robbie Keane (C), Alan Gordon (Baggio Husidic 74)
SCORE: 0-1, min. 7, Gordon. 1-1, min. 50, Peterson. 2-1, min. 69, Dwyer. 2-2, min. 76, Donovan
REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar (USA). Admonished Larentowicz (min. 44).
INCIDENTS: MLS regular season game between Sporting Kansas City and LA Galaxy. The match was played at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas in front of 19,480 spectators.

Landon Donavon rescued LA Galaxy a point after an intense match against playoff hopefuls Sporting Kansas City at the Children's Mercy Park.

Alan Gordon opened the scoring for the visitors just six minutes into the match, and it would take up until the 50th minute before Kansas City could reply, after the endless amounts of pressure on the Galaxy defense finally cracked, and Jacob Petersen headed in the equalizer.

Dom Dwyer gave the hosts the lead with 21 minutes to go, and it looked like Sporting would take the three points, but Landon Donavon scored the equalizer seconds after being brought on, to seal a precious point for the Galaxy.

A whirlwind start

Peterson came close to the opening goal just four minutes into this crucial match when a great long throw from Matt Besler found the winger after Ashley Cole was caught sleeping at the far post, but the 30-year-old attacker’s header flew just high over the bar.

The miss proved important, as two minutes later Alan Gordon grabbed a smash-and-grab goal in the sixth minute. Emmanuel Boateng whipped in a great cross from the left wing, and Gordon used his aerial abilities brilliantly, as the number nine jumped the highest, to beat Time Melia at the near post to give the LA Galaxy an early lead.

Alan Gordon just moments after scoring the first goal of the game for the LA Galaxy | Source: LA Galaxy Twitter - @LAGalaxy
Alan Gordon just moments after scoring the first goal of the game for the LA Galaxy | Source: LA Galaxy Twitter - @LAGalaxy

The frantic start of the match continued, as Dwyer should had equalised for Kansas City in the ninth minute, after a fantastic long ball Benny Feilhaber was poorly dealt with by Jelle Van Damme, unaware that Dwyer was sprinting past the Belgian defender, but the Englishman’s strike from 12-yards out flew high over the bar.

Kansas City were on top going past 15 minute mark, and Feilhaber came close to making the game level after Feilhaber was given the freedom to shoot after an impressive Kansas City counter-attack, but after the American midfielder pulled the trigger, Van Damme came flying in with a fantastic block, to deny the hosts a leveller.

The cracks begin to show

After a quick water break in the 30th minute, Sporting continued their assault off the Galaxy defense, who were set out perfectly defensively despite the exploitations. Dwyer, Feilhaber, and Brad Davis all led the KC attack, however, all their efforts were well blocked by the Galaxy defense.

Roger Espinoza was next to test the Galaxy defense and managed to force a save out of Brian Rowe, who has to do well to get down and save Espinoza ‘s sizzling shot from distance.

Peterson should had given the hosts the lead in the final moment of the fist half, when the winger again found himself with a chance high in the air, and again, Peterson couldn’t make his header count.

Sporting started the second half as they had spent a majority of the first half, constantly knocking on the door. The pressure was instantly on LA after the defense were allowing more players to roam the penalty area.

The defense is breached

And the pressure finally paid off, as Peterson equalized for the hosts. Dwyer sent in a beautifully floated cross to the far post, where Peterson was lurking, and the winger, this time, headed the ball on target, and past Rowe, to level the game five minutes into the second half.

Dom Dwyer celebrates after scoring a goal for Sporting Kansas City against the LA Galaxy | Source: Sporting Kansas City Twitter - @SportingKC
Dom Dwyer celebrates after scoring a goal for Sporting Kansas City against the LA Galaxy | Source: Sporting Kansas City Twitter - @SportingKC

The Galaxy defense had finally cracked, and Kansas City was exploiting the crack to their advantage. Dwyer was allowed a one-on-one opportunity after Daniel Steres was caught napping, but the LA defender was let off after Dwyer’s chip flew past the post.

The second goal was coming for Kansas City, and Dwyer bagged the second goal 68 minutes in. After a free-kick was taken quickly by Feilhaber, Saad Abdul-Salaam broke down the right wing, and played through a fantastic driven pass across the face of goal, to pick out Dwyer, who had an easy tap in to give the hosts the lead in the 69th minute.

The legend returns

After a water break in the 75th minute, the Galaxy brought on Donovan, and one minute later, the MLS legend had leveled the game.

Robbie Rogers sprinted down the right wing with acres of space around him, and the sleeping Sporting defense didn’t pick up the sprinting Donovan, and the six-time MLS Cup winner slot the ball past Melia with an expertly worked finish, to level the game up with 15 minutes to go.

The momentum of the game had completely shifted in a matter of seconds. Sporting, who had dominated the entire game, had now been reduced to sitting back and soaking up the LA Galaxy pressure.

Despite the power shift, the Galaxy couldn’t quite emulate the hunger and desire that Sporting had when the game was on their side, which resulted in the hosts waking up again as Dwyer almost bagged a late winner for Kansas City after his strike from the edge of the box three minutes into stoppage time, flew wide of the post.

A fifth goal was on the table, but neither side could find a winner, and the match finished 2-2.