Good start, terrible mid-game, okay finish. That’s the best way to summarize Orlando City SC’s matchup with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday when the Lions (7-8-13, 34 points) lost 4-2 to Los Angeles (11-4-14, 47 points) at StubHub Center.
With Orlando City holding a narrow 1-0 lead, the Galaxy quickly restarted play to push the ball forward into Orlando City’s half in a matter of 10 seconds. Los Angeles’ Emmanuel Boateng got the ball down City’s right flank with midfielder Antonio Nocerino sprinting to meet him, but Nocerino’s effort was in vain. Boateng faked inside and took a touch outside before he crossed it into a diving Giovani dos Santos for his team-leading 13th goal of the season.
No more than three minutes later did the Galaxy continue their offensive onslaught. This attacking move was initiated after a corner kick was cleared but kept by the Galaxy on Orlando City’s right half of the field. It was Jelle Van Damme‘s turn for an assist, as he cut open just inside the Lions’ box to cross it into Alan Gordon‘s left quad for the go-ahead score.
The scoring didn’t stop for Los Angeles as Gordon would draw a penalty kick that led to dos Santos’ 14th goal of the season in the 45th minute.
Los Angeles’ offensive dominance continued in the second half. Though they only scored once more, it was clear whose game it was to win. Galaxy substitute Robbie Keane effectively put the game out of reach with his goal in the 70th minute. He found himself in front of a near-empty net after dos Santos slipped one past goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
It looked as if Sunday’s match would be Orlando City’s game to win when midfielder Kevin Molino scored the first goal of the match in the 20th minute off a buildup that began with City left-back Luke Boden. The Englishman got inside the right part of the Galaxy’s box and serviced it into Larin, who positioned himself in space for a shot that was deflected off of Van Damme’s chest. Molino would recover the rebound for a one-timed rocket for the first goal of the game.
Man of the Match: Giovani dos Santos
The Galaxy’s leading man scored his 13th and 14th goals of the season in Sunday’s matchup against the Lions. He also contributed to his team’s offensive attack with an assist. Los Angeles’ attacking presence was heavily influenced by dos Santos, as he played all 90 minutes, recording four shots (two on goal) and delivered all four corner kicks for his side.
The Return of the King
And indeed he is just that: the king of Major League Soccer and of American soccer itself. Landon Donovan, who came out of retirement to play for his former team, made his first MLS appearance Sunday against the Lions when he subbed into the game in the 83rd minute.
Though his time on the pitch was limited, where he recorded no shots or assists, his return was welcomed by a thunderous applause from both City and Galaxy fans alike.
Orlando City returns to Camping World Stadium on Saturday when they host Columbus Crew SC at 7:30 p.m. Columbus is tied in last place with the Chicago Fire in points (26) and goal differential (-9).
|20’||Orlando City SC||Kevin Molino||n/a|
|35’||Los Angeles Galaxy||Giovani dos Santos||Emmanuel Boateng, Jelle Van Damme|
|38’||Los Angeles Galaxy||Alan Gordon||Jelle Van Damme, Giovani dos Santos|
|45’||Los Angeles Galaxy||Giovani dos Santos||PENALTY|
|70’||Los Angeles Galaxy||Robbie Keane||Giovani dos Santos, Sebastian Lletget|
|92’||Orlando City SC||Brek Shea||n/a|
Statistics and Starting Lineups
|Goals||Assists||Shots||Shots on Goal|
|Los Angeles Galaxy||4||3||12||4|
|Orlando City SC||2||0||14||3|
Los Angeles Galaxy starting lineup (4-5-1): Brian Rowe (GK); Ashley Cole, Jelle Van Damme, Daniel Steres, Robbie Rogers; Emmanuel Boateng, Rafael Garcia, Giovani dos Santos, Sebastian Lletget, Raul Mendiola; Alan Gordon (C)
Orlando City SC starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Joe Bendik (GK); Luke Boden, David Mateos, José Aja, Kevin Alston; Servando Carrasco, Antonio Nocerino; Kevin Molino, Ricardo Kaká (C), Matías Pérez García; Cyle Larin