WFC Recap: Man. City edge Galaxy in PK shootout, 7-6
CARSON, Calif. — Manchester City's Joe Hart made a game-winning penalty kick as Manchester City beat the LA Galaxy 7-6 in a penalty-kick shootout after a 1-1 draw before 24,897 at the Home Depot Center.
Manchester City thus concluded their participation in the World Football Challenge with two regulation victories as well as Sunday's shootout win.
Mario Bolatelli converted a first-half penalty kick while Mike Magee equalized in the second half on a spectacular long-range goal, accounting for the scoring during regulation.
Before the match began, the Galaxy were forced to start at a disadvantage. Neither Landon Donovan nor Juan Pablo Ángel dressed for the match, leaving coach Bruce Arena without two former Premiership players.
Manchester City came out and attacked from the start as the Galaxy took time to settle into a rhythm. City tested LA 'keeper Josh Saunders when David Silva fired a shot on goal but pushed it just wide of the right post.
The Galaxy helped Manchester City out in the 18th minute when Bryan Jordan flattened Micah Richards from behind in the penalty area. The Citizens were awarded a penalty kick and Mario Balotelli easily converted the attempt two minutes later to put City out in front.
In the 28th minute, though, Balotelli drew the ire of manager Roberto Mancini. The Italian forward got past the Galaxy defense and was in alone on Saunders but, instead of attepting to find the net the conventional way, Balotelli came to a standstill, turned and attempted a backheel at the goal. The attempt went well wide.
Immediately, Mancini motioned for James Milner to warm up and three minutes later replaced Balotelli on the pitch. Once on the sideline, Mancini motioned for Balotelli to head back to the locker room but Balotelli extended his arms, shrugged and walked to the end of the bench.
Both sides made several changes at the intermission. The Galaxy brought on Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza and Todd Dunivant, as well as regulars Juninho, Chris Birchall and Magee.
The Galaxy immediately pressured Man. City and got an equalizer fairly quickly. In the 53rd minute, Magee took control of the ball some 27 yards out, walked a few steps and fired a shot on goal. The ball sailed over Joe Hart's head, dipped and went under the crossbar.
City were back on their heels for the next several minutes as the Galaxy were salivating on their way for a possible go-ahead goal. The hosts nearly got it in the 55th minute, when Dunivant wound up with the ball on the left side of the penalty area but was thwarted by Hart, who scrambled and made the save.
The match settled down afterward, though, as neither team was able to threaten the opposing goal.
The match fizzled out and regulation ended in a 1-1 draw, but due to competition rules, the game went straight to penalty kicks to determine a winner.
For the Galaxy, Dan Keat, Birchall, Dunivant and Michael Stephens converted while Juninho missed. As for City, Milner, Vladimir Weiss, Denis Suárez and Aleksander Kolarov converted, but John Guidetti missed to send the shootout into sudden death.
LA's McBean was turned away by Hart while Jolean Lescott was denied by Galaxy 'keeper Brian Perk.
Hart dove and got his hands on Gonzalez's kick but the ball made it into the back of the net anyway, while Nigel de Jong made his without incident.
Dustin McCarty made his attempt while Shaun Wright-Phillips also converted.
In the final go-around, Hart stpped DeLaGarza's shot, then immediately put it the ball on the spot and to take his turn. Hart buried his attempt, posed, and City celebrated their shootout victory.
MCF — Mario Balotelli (unassisted), 20'
LA — Mike Magee (Chris Birchall), 53'
MCF — Stefan Savic, 67'