Landon Donovan stepped onto the pitch for the first time since retirement. He stepped on to the pitch with seven minutes remaining in the match. While he did not see much action, the LA Galaxy ran rampant, defeating Orlando City SC 4-2. Giovani dos Santos and Alan Gordon were the catalysts behind this victory. They contributed to each of the four goals scored during the 90 minutes. The Galaxy’s captain, Robbie Keane returned in fashion, getting a tally of his own late in the 70th minute.
The Los Angeles Galaxy had a couple of half-chance’s fall by the wayside around the ten minute mark. On the first attempt, Emmanuel Boateng sent a cross towards the box in the direction of Alan Gordon. An Orlando City defender closed Gordon down from behind and was able to clear away the cross at the last moment.
For the Galaxy’s second attempt, Gordon was involved in the play once more. Giovani dos Santos played a square ball to the big forward inside the six-yard-box. Gordon scuffed the ball as it trickled inches wide of the right post.
Orlando break through first
Against the run of play though, in the 21st minute, Orlando found the back of the net first. Cyle Larin had a go from inside the box but Jelle Van Damme blocked the effort. The rebound fell nicely to Kevin Molina who made no mistake with Brian Rowe out of position.
Galaxy score four straight
LA continued to probe for an opening though. And in the 38th minute, their patience finally paid off. Van Damme sprang Emmanuel Boateng down the left hand side of the pitch. Boateng used his speed to get into space before whipping in a dangerous cross. Dos Santos was waiting in the area and tapped the ball into the open net.
Three minutes later, the Galaxy took a 2-1 lead. Off of a corner kick, Orlando City failed to clear their lines as the ball fell to Van Damme again. The big defender sent in a rocket of a cross towards the middle of the area. Aaron Gordon made his presence felt by smashing home the delivery.
Orlando City will be agitated with the third goal that they conceded in the opening 45 minutes of play. Jose Aja fouled Alan Gordon and the referee pointed to the spot straight away. While the foul did occur near the 18-yard-box, Aja clipped Gordon outside of the box. Nevertheless, dos Santos stepped up to take the penalty. Dos Santos slotted his effort with ease as he sent the Orlando goalkeeper the wrong way.
Robbie Keane returned to action tonight and looked as fresh as ever. With 20 minutes remaining, Sebastian Lletget fed Giovani dos Santos with a perfectly weighted through ball. As Bendik came rushing off his line once more, dos Santos found Keane sprinting alongside him. Keane, after receiving the ball, took a couple more touches before scoring.
Brek Shea came in the match late in the second half and became a spark plug for his side. He got into good positions down the right side of the pitch. While Shea only managed to score a consolation goal, it was an excellent hit.
This was exactly what the Los Angeles Galaxy needed on a night like tonight. While they gave up the opening goal, the Galaxy responded in great fashion, scoring three goals before the halftime interval. They will need to carry this momentum with them for the rest of the season and into playoffs.
The Los Angeles Galaxy now hit the road for their next match as they travel to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday afternoon. For Orlando City, they return home to face off against the Columbus Crew.