The Los Angeles Galaxy got a controversial win in their first match of the US Open Cup. They defeated amateur side La Maquina 4-1 at the StubHub Center.
Galaxy dominate, but chances fall short; Garcia gets red carded
Emmanuel Boateng whipped a low cross towards the far post in the fourth minute of the play. The delivery was heading towards Alan Gordon but it got blocked at the vital moment. Six minutes later, Boateng was the architect once more in a move down the left. He danced around a couple of La Maquina defenders before threading a pass to Jose Villarreal. Then, Villarreal tried to place one in the bottom right corner but missed by a couple of inches.
Pressure had been mounting in the early goings of the match and it paid off in the 15th minute. Raul Mendiola whipped in a dangerous cross towards the middle of the box. The ball missed Gordon and Jeff Larentowicz. But the cross did find the chest of Jose Villarreal who redirected it into the back of the net.
Two minutes later though, Los Angeles was down a man. Rafael Garcia went in for a challenge with both of his feet. He went in studs up as the Galaxy man and Rosendo Castro fought for a 50/50 ball. There was no hesitation shown by the referee who showed Garcia the red card straight away.
Things became worse for the Galaxy in the 29th minute when La Maquina scored the equalizer. There was a long ball played over the top of the defense and AJ DeLaGarza attempted to head it back to his goalkeeper. DeLaGarza did not head his pass cleanly and Edwin Barboa was quick to tap it over Clement Diop to level things up.
With three minutes remaining until halftime, Boateng almost gave the Galaxy the lead. He zig-zagged his way into the penalty area and found himself one - one with the La Maquina goalkeeper. Boateng tried to chip his attempt into the net but Victor Vazquez made a good recovery run to clear it off the line.
The first chance of the second half fell to the Galaxy in the 53rd minute. A ball over the top fell to Alan Gordon. La Maquina's defense thought they had him caught offside, but that was not the case. Gordon timed his run to perfection. The aspect from the move that lacked though, was his ability to shoot the ball. Gordon took a touch or two too many and the La Maquina goalkeeper made a good one on one stop.
Galaxy come away with win in extra time
In added time, the Los Angeles Galaxy scored one of the most bizarre goals ever. Jose Villarreal was down injured and being helped by Jack McBean. Baggio Husidic, though, took a quick free kick and found Dave Romney on the far side of the box. Romney made no mistake with his finish and buried the shot.
Deep in the first half of added time, Sebastian Lletget made a darting run inside the area. Lletget then got dragged down and the ref awarded a penalty. He stepped up to the spot himself and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 3-1. Lletget completed his brace later stages to cement the Galaxy's win.