CARSON, Calif. – A fierce effort and the return of a familiar face produced a second consecutive dominant home performance for the LA Galaxy. But this time the champs walked away empty handed as Philadelphia scored late goals in both halves on Wednesday to claim a 2-1 victory at The Home Depot Center.
Instead of closing out Independence Day with a convincing victory and welcoming back Omar Gonzalez with three points, the Galaxy were left scratching their heads once again.
“We gave a game away,” head coach Bruce Arena said. “That’s a game that we should have walked away comfortably with three points, in my opinion.”
Statistics back up that claim. The Galaxy peppered Philadelphia’s goal with six shots on target and 16 total attempts. Union ‘keeper Zac MacMath made four saves, however, and helped keep the Galaxy off the scoreboard.
HIGHLIGHTS: LA vs PHI
“This is another game where there’s nowhere else to look but inside our locker room,” Arena said. “We have people in position to get us results and we don’t get it done.”
Robbie Keane was position several times in the early going to get a goal. Just four minutes in he had a shot cleared off the goal line. Seven minutes later, the Irish international again fired a shot on goal but his attempt was once again cleared away. MacMath made a diving save off Keane’s third shot in the first half, which helped frustrate the Galaxy.
The frustration carried over into the second half, and wasn’t limited to just Keane.
“It’s frustrating, there’s no doubt about it,” LA captain Landon Donovan said. “It’s hard to be too upset because almost everyone played really well but I’ve been in this game a long time and have seen a lot of games like this where one team dominates and you don’t score, and next thing you know you’re on the bad end of the result. And that’s what happened.”
The first goal – a stunning strike from Jack McInerney on the stroke of halftime – was particularly painful.
“It’s just lack of concentration,” Donovan said. “They were barely on our end in the first half and one play and the guy scores a one-in-a-thousand goal and that’s it. Sometimes that’s the way this game is.”
The situation repeated itself in second half stoppage when Michael Farfan got the winner against the run of play.
“They had numbers on the last goal and that’s not what you expect. We can’t have that,” Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza. “We have runners through the box and a free shot and guys went into the box two-v-one. We had multiple breakdowns.”
Still, despite the Union’s brilliant individual efforts, the match was lost when the Galaxy failed to take their chances.
“This is not about the referee, this or that or anything else, this is about making plays that count in the game,” Arena said. “And we didn’t get it done tonight.”