Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez scored the opener in the 78th minute for the LA Galaxy against Seattle Sounders, but Raul Ruidiaz scored a dramatic leveler in added time for the away side - a result that eliminates the Galaxy from the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
Story of the match
Both sides had close looks at an opener in the first half, with the Galaxy probably being the most unlucky to go into the half time break goalless. The Sounders thought they had an early penalty kick shout when Ethan Dobbelaere - making his first MLS start -shot towards goal and deflected away. The Sounders argued that the effort hit the outstretched hand of Galaxy defender Daniel Steres, but referee Silviu Petrescu remained unconvinced.
The Galaxy hit the woodwork twice in the first half, first in the 15th minute when a headed effort from Steres was headed off the line by Seattle right back Alex Roldan and bounced off the crossbar before being cleared away by Dobbelaere. Ethan Zubak's effort struck the post soon after with Seattle on the ropes slightly in the opening 45 minutes.
Hernandez scored the opener with only 12 minutes to go, breaking through Seattle's backline after some lovely passing play with Efrain Alvarez and slotting past Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei. That was the Mexican's second goal of the season and it looked like it would be enough so see off the Sounders, who had a free kick from Nicholas Lodeiro hit the bar on 84 minutes.
It looked like the Galaxy were going to get the win that would've kept their slim playoff hopes alive, but Ruidiaz equallised in the fourth minute of added time, set up by Jordan Morris and getting a big slice of luck as the ball deflected off LA goalkeeper David Bingham and into the net.
Takeaways from the match
Seattle Sounders missed a chance to go top in the Western Conference, but the away point keeps them in contention for the place at the summit with 1.71 points per game from 21 matches with one game left to go - against San Jose Earthquakes on November 8. It's been a disappointing season for the Galaxy, who will look to recruit heavily in the off season after missing out on the playoffs this year. Their gamble with Hernandez has just not paid off, and many Galaxy fans will be questioning whether they are getting value for money from their Mexican DP.
You can't write off Seattle with Ruidiaz in the team, can you? He is vital to the Sounders' chances of winning the playoffs and they will no doubt be heavily reliant on him over the upcoming couple of weeks. Seattle also have a squad that is in drastic need of recruitment and new blood, and the other question is - will it be Brian Schmetzer that is in charge next season?
LA Galaxy: Bingham, Araujo, Gonzalez, Steres, Insua, Lletget, Kitchen, Kljestan, Pavon, Zubak.
Substitutions: Harvey, Korenuik, Cuello, Alvarez, Feltscher, DePuy, vom Steeg, Corona, Chicarito.
Seattle Sounders: Frei, A Roldan, O'Neill, Arreaga, Tolo, Delem, Svensson, Dobbelaere, Lodeiro, Jones, Ruidiaz.
Substitutions: Mior, C Roldan, Morris, Bruijn, Leerdam, Cleveland, Hopeau, Atencio, Medranda.