SANDY, Utah – The LA Galaxy were one play away from their first win at Real Salt Lake since 2013, a potentially crucial road result that would have marked just their fourth league victory away from StubHub Center this season.
But the visitors didn’t quite close out the game, and a 3-1 second-half advantage fizzled away into a 3-3 draw as the final kick of the match – a bending but not imposing drive by Juan Manuel Martinez – slipped under goalkeeper Brian Rowe.
“It was not an easy game,” LA head coach Bruce Arena said afterwards. “Our guys worked really hard and it was a shame they didn't reward themselves with the three points.”
A goal in the sixth minute on a breakaway by Emmanuel Boateng gave the Galaxy a dream start, allowing them to sit in and absorb RSL's pressure. In the second half, Giovani Dos Santos' two goals helped build a seemingly safe advantage.
Dos Santos has now notched five goals and an assist in his last six MLS games, and looked to be the difference-maker against RSL. He assisted on Boateng’s opener before getting behind the defense to give LA a 2-1 lead. Seven minutes later, Dos Santos pounced on a rebound off the post to carve out a 3-1 advantage in the 64th minute.
Even after Joao Plata cut the gap to 3-2 three minutes later, LA had their chances to ice the game. Mike Magee saw a good look saved by Nick Rimando in injury time, mere moments before RSL's “Burrito” struck.
“When there's a minute left in the game and you have a 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper you either score or you pull it out,” Arena said. “We walk away with a point and we should be going home with three.”
Three points would have put LA alone in second place with six games left in the regular season. Instead, the Galaxy remain bunched with RSL and Colorado, chasing FC Dallas and vying for the second seed in the Western Conference playoff picture.
Rowe “has had better games for sure,” Arena said. The 'keeper had a penalty kick called on him when Plata stole in to snatch the ball away from him near the edge of the box. Some 30 minutes later, he could only slow the equalizer down on its way to the back of the net.
It's the first time this season the Galaxy have surrendered points after leading at the half.
“Win the game. Don't concede a goal,” Arena said. “We could have been better on both of those plays. That's the difference. They've been through this enough this year, they should have it right. We're in the 28th game of the season – this should not be a mystery at this point.”
The Galaxy continue a busy run of three games in a week when they host Orlando City on Sunday (7 pm ET; FS1 in US, MLS LIVE in Canada).