HIGHLIGHTS: LA Galaxy vs. Austin FC | May 15, 2021
Sebastian Lletget bagged his first goal of the 2021 campaign, curling home LA’s opener in the 35th minute after collecting a longball from center back Daniel Steres. Austin right back Hector Jimenez got injured in the process while trying to acrobatically clear the attack, though couldn’t stop Lletget from making it 1-0.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez then doubled LA’s lead in the 77th minute, powering home a cross from right back Julian Araujo that left Austin’s defense retreating. Chicharito made a strong near-post run, tallying his league-leading seventh goal to extend his place atop the Golden Boot presented by Audi chart.
Chicharito was stymied in the first half, however, as Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver saved his penalty kick in the 26th minute. Stuver dove to his left, making amends for center back Jhohan Romana fouling Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer just inside the 18-yard box.
Galaxy winger Kevin Cabral made his long-awaited debut as a second-half substitute after joining in April from Ligue 2 side Valenciennes FC as a Young Designated Player. Cabral thought he opened his account in the 85th minute after Chicharito set up a confident finish, but he was offside on the 3-0 strike.
Meanwhile, Austin played without defensive midfielder Alexander Ring after he was shown a red card last weekend against Sporting Kansas City. Daniel Pereira, the No. 1 pick in the 2021 SuperDraft, started in his place.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Galaxy carried forward momentum from their 2-1 win over LAFC in last weekend’s El Trafico. They can still button up some areas, but they’re markedly improved from 2020’s side that missed the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Austin, playing their fifth straight road game to start the year, generated some encouraging chances. But the Galaxy backline wasn’t ever truly under siege, leading to the first losing streak for Josh Wolff’s team (two straight defeats).
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Brad Stuver continues to shine for Austin FC, denying Chicharito’s first-half penalty kick. Chicharito has now missed both PKs he's attempted in a Galaxy jersey and hasn't scored from the spot since the 2015-16 season at Bayern Leverkusen (missed last four).
PK SAVE: Brad Stuver, Austin FC - 26th minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Galaxy right back Julian Araujo was great on both sides of the ball, as highlighted by his assist on Chicharito’s second-half strike.
GOAL: Chicharito, LA Galaxy - 77th minute
- LA: Saturday, May 22 at Portland Timbers | 3:30 pm ET (ABC, ESPN Deportes)
- ATX: Sunday, May 23 at Nashville SC | 9:00 pm ET (FS1, FOX Deportes)