Galaxy feel they left points on the table in 2-2 draw
The LA Galaxy had several things in their favor over the last quarter hour of Monday's match at Sporting KC. Sean Franklin's second goal of the match put the Galaxy ahead 2-1 in the 74th minute, a lead the Galaxy held until stoppage time.
But a late mistake cost them two points as Sporting KC converted a penalty in stoppage time as the Galaxy settled for a 2-2 draw with Sporting.
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"We got a good second goal and you think at that point we’re just going to say, ‘Listen, we’re on the road, it’s one of those nights, don’t give up another goal and get out of here.’ We didn’t get it done," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. "We made too many individual mistakes, too many mental mistakes over the last 10 minutes or so."
With the Galaxy ahead 2-1 in the 90th minute, Frankie Hejduk was whistled for a handball in the penalty area and Omar Bravo buried the ensuing spot kick to give the hosts a draw.
The Galaxy maintained their lead in the Supporters’ Shield race over Seattle, as the Sounders are four points back of LA. Sporting KC, meanwhile, moved to within three points of the top spot in the Eastern Conference as they sit on 37 points.
It's that heated pursuit of a playoff spot that helped Sporting KC get back into the match.
"It always happens this time of the year - teams are fighting for playoff spots," Galaxy captain Landon Donovan said. "We certainly know that every time we come into an environment like this where a team is fighting for their playoff lives, that’s what it’s going to look like and we did a good job matching that tonight."
The Galaxy did their part in helping the hosts stay in the game. The conditions of Livestrong Sporting Park were not ideal as the grass was uneven in parts and may have played a role in the Galaxy's disjointed play, but regardless, the finishing touch wasn’t there for LA.
"We struggled possessing and gave the ball away too much. We should be more mature and play the ball around," Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said. "The pitch is partly to blame because it was hard to play soccer today, but we should still finish the game off. I’m just not complaining for our team, it was the same for them as well."
The match started well for the Galaxy as Franklin put them ahead in the 25th minute when he knocked a ball past Jimmy Nielsen from inside the penalty area.
"I was more surprised that I was onside, but I saw a replay, it was close and I was on, I just wanted to get it quickly and place it, and I was able to score the goal," he said.
After Júlio César equalized in the 72nd minute, Franklin quickly responded when Beckham played a ball through to him and Franklin buried a shot from close range.
"I’m happy that I got two goals, but I wish the team would have gotten three points although it’s nice to still get a point on the road," Franklin said.
While the Galaxy did well to answer KC's goal, the club was unable to finish off the match.
"We have to be focused for the full 90 minutes," Franklin said. "The last 15 minutes, we gave up a lot of turnovers, including myself in our defensive half and we can’t do that against a team that’s trying to score and get back in the game. We have to do a better job closing out the game."
Luis Bueno covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.