CARSON, Calif. — Alan Gordon canceled out what would have been a match-winner from Juan Pablo Ángel as Toronto FC and the LA Galaxy tied 2-2 at The Home Depot Center on Saturday.
Gordon scored goals in the 68th minute as well as four minutes into second-half stoppage time, while Chris Birchall scored in the 2nd minute with Ángel knocking a goal into the back of the net in the 90th minute.
Things got off to a great start for the Galaxy. Just two minutes in, López held the ball on the left side of the penalty area and slipped it over to the right side of the box, where an unmarked Birchall raced in to meet and fired a shot on goal. Reds goalie Stefan Frei got a hand to the ball but it had too much pace on it and found the back of the net.
The goal was Birchall’s first MLS goal in 48 regular-season games.
Minutes later, López nearly increased LA's lead to two as he fired a shot off the left post in the 10th minute. With Landon Donovan away on national team duty, López got the start in the middle of the field and helped give the Galaxy a spark in the midfield.
Galaxy youngster Michael Stephens came close to scoring in the 22nd minute. After a scramble inside the penalty area, the ball bounced out to Stephens who lined up a shot on goal from 20 yards out. Stephens had Frei beaten but his shot whizzed past the left post.
In the 29th minute, David Beckham picked up a yellow card for a reckless tackle on Tony Tchani. The Toronto FC midfielder tried to dribble past Beckham, who lunged at Tchani and took him out with a tackle. Tchani was in apparent pain from the start and was helped off the field. He tried to come back in but could not move around too much and eventually was replaced by Joao Plata in the 34th minute.
Toronto FC made another substitution before halftime as Jacob Peterson pulled up lame after a run on the left side of the field. Former Galaxy player Gordon replaced Peterson in the 43rd minute in what would prove to be a golden move for Reds coach Aron Winter.
Toronto FC continued to pressure the Galaxy in the second half and it eventually paid off. In the 68th minute, Danleigh Borman placed a perfect cross to the front of the goal and Gordon smashed the header past Josh Saunders and into the back of the net.
The goal was Gordon’s second in a visiting team’s uniform since he was dealt away last summer. He scored for Chivas USA in his first game against the Galaxy last season.
With the game winding down to what seemed would be a 1-1 tie, Ángel stormed in and buried a ball into the back of the net to give the Galaxy the apparent match winner right as the clock struck 90. After a scramble in the box, the veteran striker unloaded a shot on goal that got through the defense and beat Frei.
But with the game dying away, Gordon struck as he buried a ball off the top corner of the goal and into the back of the net, salvaging a point for the Canadians.
The Galaxy now head on a two-game road trip, first against defending MLS Cup champs Colorado on Saturday, then against San Jose on June 25. Toronto, meanwhile, head to New England to take on the Revolution on Wednesday before returning home to take on the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
LA -- Chris Birchall 1 (Miguel Lopez 3, Todd Dunivant 2) 2
TOR -- Alan Gordon 3 (Danleigh Borman 3) 68
LA -- Juan Pablo Angel 3 (unassisted) 91+
TOR -- Alan Gordon 4 (Maicon Santos 2) 94+
TOR -- Danleigh Borman (caution; Tactical Foul) 17
LA -- David Beckham (caution; Reckless Tackle) 29
TOR -- Doneil Henry (caution; Handball) 57
TOR -- Alan Gordon (caution; Reckless Foul) 81
LA -- A.J. DeLaGarza (caution; Reckless Tackle) 83
Toronto FC -- Stefan Frei, Richard Eckersley, Doneil Henry, Ty Harden, Danleigh Borman, Jacob Peterson (Alan Gordon 43), Nathan Sturgis, Tony Tchani (Joao Plata 34), Mikael Yourassowsky, Nick Soolsma (Javier Martina 89), Maicon Santos.
Substitutes Not Used: Oscar Cordon, Dan Gargan, Gianluca Zavarise, Milos Kocic.
LA Galaxy -- Josh Saunders, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Chris Birchall, David Beckham, Miguel Lopez (Paolo Cardozo 81), Michael Stephens (Bryan Jordan 81), Juan Pablo Angel, Chad Barrett (Mike Magee 71).
Substitutes Not Used: Gregg Berhalter, Frankie Hejduk, Jovan Kirovski, Brian Perk.
Referee: Mark Kadlecik
Referee's Assistants: -Rob Fereday; Mike Kampmeinert
4th Official: Yader Reyes
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-62-degrees