“I think that defensive situation happened because the team gave up the battle and the fight,” the Argentine said. “We can’t do that. We have to play for 90 mins and try to play when we have the ball and when we don't have the ball try to get it. We can’t give up before time and that’s what happened and that’s what generated a heap of spaces in our defense.”
Diego Rossi repeatedly capitalized on those spaces, scoring four goals to become the 13th player in MLS history to accomplish that. Meanwhile, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Mohamed El-Munir each supplied delightful finishes of their own to round out the goals.
The end result was a second straight El Trafico win for LAFC – they won last year’s Audi MLS Cup Playoff matchup, 5-3 – that leveled the all-time series at 2W-2L-3T. And there were clear frustrations from Schelotto, whose Galaxy are now winless in four matches to start the year.
But there were moments of encouragement, like when LA opened a 2-1 lead after Cristian Pavon’s penalty kick in the 31st minute. From there, the Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez-less group unraveled by allowing five straight unanswered goals.
“I think in the first half we controlled the game,” Schelotto said. “Sometimes we gave the ball to them, but then they get to play as they know. Even twice we were in front in the result but we couldn’t keep it.”
Searching for pivotal moments, Schelotto pointed to when Pavon’s goal in the 54th minute was called back for being offside. Now, LA need a chain reaction of positive results to reach the Round of 16 at the MLS is Back Tournament. They’ll have to navigate past the Houston Dynamo on Thursday (8 pm ET | FS1, TUDN in US; TVAS in Canada), and Schelotto surely will be clamoring for more fight from his team.
“We kept playing like that until the third goal for Pavon, but the ref said ‘offside’ and then the game changed,” Schelotto said.