Despite blowing a two-goal first-half lead, a 62nd-minute own goal from Julian Araujo gifted Minnesota United FC a berth in the Audi 2021 MLS Playoffs and dramatically eliminated the LA Galaxy after a 3-3 Decision Day draw at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Minnesota earned the No. 5 seed in the West and will face No. 4 Portland Timbers at Providence Park in Round One. A 95th-minute winner from Damir Kreilach saw Real Salt Lake defeat Sporting Kansas City 1-0 and knock the Galaxy out of the playoff race in stunning fashion as RSL jumped ahead of the Galaxy and into seventh place.

A missed penalty kick from Franco Fragapane in the 87th minute created a drama-filled final 10 minutes in Carson, but the Loons' defense prevailed and earned them a berth in this year's postseason. Despite rallying from a 2-0 deficit and getting a brace from Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, the draw was not enough for the Galaxy to book their Audi MLS Cup Playoffs berth.

Adrien Hunou opened the scoring for the Loons in the 22nd minute after Minnesota hit the counter in quickfire fashion through Emanuel Reynoso combining with fullback Romain Metanire on a cheeky backheel pass. The Malagasy international took the ball up the pitch and hit a gorgeous through-ball to Hunou, who fired into the back of the net for the early lead. The goal was initially flagged for offside by Hunou, but referee Kevin Stott overturned the on-field decision after Video Review.

Lod doubled Minnesota's lead after a scramble in the box off a corner kick in the 34th minute with the Finnish winger unmarked at the back post, finding the roof of the net.

Sebastian Lletget got one back right before the halftime whistle for the Galaxy, starting their eventual comeback.

Chicharito scored the first of his two goals in the 51st minute to draw the sides level, but a 62nd-minute own goal from Araujo canceled it out. Hernandez's heroics brought the Galaxy level once again in the 75th minute after he fired home through the hands of Tyler Miller.

Fragapane was given a chance to win it for Minnesota from the penalty spot in the 87th minute, but the Argentine's penalty hit the outside of the post and the Galaxy's valiant second-half comeback came up just shy.

Goals

  • 22' – MIN – Adrien Hunou | WATCH
  • 34' – MIN – Robin Lod | WATCH
  • 45+1' – LA – Sebastian Lletget | WATCH
  • 51' – LA – Javier Hernandez | WATCH
  • 62' – MIN – Julian Araujo (OG) | WATCH
  • 75' – LA – Javier Hernandez | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: This was an absurd back-and-forth match that felt like life-or-death as it neared the final whistle. It was a valiant performance from the Galaxy, but a lackluster first 45 minutes put them into the position they ended with. For Minnesota, it was an incredible first half followed by a hectic and drama-filled final 45. Credit to the Loons who got the road result and made the playoffs for the third straight season.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Araujo’s 62nd-minute own goal. It was a strike that lifted the Loons to the playoffs and helped sink the Galaxy.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Adrien Hunou. The Frenchman has underperformed at times, but he came up clutch for Minnesota when they needed him most.

Next Up

  • LA: End of season
  • MIN: at Portland Timbers, Western Conference Round One, Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs