The LA Galaxy have been waiting to exhale. That moment finally arrived Saturday night courtesy of a 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers that snapped a nine-match winless streak dating back to mid-August.

The result, coupled with others on Saturday, pushed the Galaxy into sixth place in the Western Conference standings, five points adrift of rival LAFC, who are in eighth place and the first team below the playoff line.

Three points on the night also meant the return of some simple post-match celebrations.

“It is really nice having some music blasting in the locker room again after a game, so that is just a good feeling,” said veteran Sacha Kljestan, who scored the winning penalty kick in second-half stoppage time. “I think everyone is a bit relieved especially with the way the game went tonight.”

Before Kljestan’s goal created a sigh of relief, the Galaxy had to endure their here we go again moment when Sebastian Blanco leveled for the visiting Timbers 10 minutes after Chicharito capitalized on a Larrys Mabiala defensive blunder to open the scoring in the 62nd minute.

“It felt like one of those games in the first half where they were going to get one chance and were going to score after we had so many, and they score a fluky goal to make it 1-1 and you just think, 'Oh no not again,'” Kljestan said. "So to get that win in the end, I think it is a big exhale for everybody and now hopefully it is the start of a winning streak or an unbeaten run.”

They were three deserved points, according to head coach Greg Vanney, because of the way his team has worked in training and on matchdays. It was just a matter of when they’d be rewarded.

“There was a confidence building, it was something that they deserved,” Vanney said. “They have deserved it, I feel, in some of the stretch and some of these other games and we didn't get it. We didn't execute how we needed to execute and so I hope that the group feels like there is a shift in momentum here that we got over the hump and now we have a real opportunity in the coming week to try and take more points and try to get ourselves into a better and better position down the stretch.”

The confidence boost comes at a perfect time for the Galaxy, who begin a stretch drive of their final five regular-season games against Houston Dynamo FC on Wednesday evening (8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+).

“This is what we needed, a little push, and more so in front of our home [crowd] who are always [supporting] us and I think we will,” homegrown midfielder Efrain Alvarez said.