FRISCO, Texas — If staring down a 2-0 deficit moments from halftime was supposed to rattle Cameron Dunbar and his LA Galaxy teammates, it didn’t.
It was only a minor setback prior to a major comeback.
Rather than going into the break down a deuce, Dunbar, a US youth international, put his team on his back and shredded through the Toronto FC defense, pulling a goal back at the stroke of halftime. It was all the Galaxy needed to redeem their early struggles.
Dunbar netted a second in the game’s late stages before his side bested Toronto on penalties, 4-2. With the PK victory, LA logged an additional point in their opening match at the 2019 Generation adidas Cup in Frisco, Texas.
For Dunbar, his first goal was an instance of simply being opportunistic.
“It was a great ball by my midfielder over the top, so it was great that I could get in behind and he had the good vision on it,” Dunbar said following the game. "Then from there I just saw the space in front of me and I just took it.”
Take it he did as his individual effort took him from the left wing, down to the endline and back into the center of the box before finishing to the bottom left corner, weaving through defenders along the way.
The match heated up in the second half, with the teams trading fouls and solid chances, but it was Dunbar who got on the receiving end of a Johnathan Perez cross to level the match at 2-2 in the 45th minute.
While things looked bleak for the Galaxy with just a few minutes left the match, Dunbar didn’t drop his head.
“We came out a little slow in the beginning but I always believe in my team,” he said. “We were good to get one right before the half and that was a big boost for us. In the second half we knew we had a good chance of winning.”
Dunbar was rewarded for his faith in his team as his penalty conversion and two big saves from Galaxy goalkeeper Carlos Zuniga were in the difference in the shootout, capping a thrilling contest.
The game was a wild introduction into this year’s Generation adidas Cup action, but it wasn’t a new stage for several of the Galaxy’s players, including Dunbar, who were returning to the tournament for a second year in a row. That added experience showed down the game’s most-pressing moments.