Lack of final third sharpness against Seattle Sounders FC frustrates the LA Galaxy in 1-1 draw
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy felt they were the better team on the night during their 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC, but in the end, that wasn’t enough to earn three points in the high-energy contest.
Despite playing without the injured Landon Donovan, a quick glance of the stat sheet showcases just how dominant the Galaxy were on the night as they controlled possession by a 60.8 to 39.2 margin—including a 63.5% to 36.5% split in the second half—and managed 11 attempts on goal to Seattle’s seven.
But despite controlling the run of play throughout the second half after Juninho tied the game with a brilliant free kick finish on the final kick of the opening 45 minutes, the Galaxy were left to rue their missed opportunities.
“It's a certainly a game that we deserved to win. They got the goal and we did well to get back into it and certainly, in the second half, we were the much better team,” said LA captain Robbie Keane. “We were just a little bit off and the things weren't falling for us. ...We played well and we're certainly the better team. It's a game that we wanted to get three points, but we didn’t.”
As Keane noted, the Galaxy frequently struggled in the final third, particularly in the second half. While pushing for the equalizer, LA was frequently able to bypass Seattle’s initial defenders, but as too often the last pass went lacking leaving LA unable to test the ‘keeper. Aside from a goal that was negated in the 60th minute due to a Todd Dunivant foul, LA’s best chance came deep into second half stoppage time when Gyasi Zardes fired a shot into the side netting from a tight angle.
For all of the Galaxy’s possession and dominance in the final third, in the end, they managed just two shots on target and forced Sounders FC ‘keeper Michael Gspurning to make just one save on the night. Something that Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena admitted changed the course of the match.
“On the night, we had a couple of good looks at the goal, and we didn’t force their ‘keeper into making a whole lot of saves,” said Arena. “The final product on the night for us was poor, and it was obviously the difference in the game.”
As they look ahead to another two-game week that will see them travel to Costa Rica to take on C.S. Cartaginés in the Champions League and then up to Portland to face the Timbers in the league, the Galaxy know that they must finish strong if they’re to reach the postseason.
"We lost two points at home. It's not good for us. But we have keep going on and move on,” said Juninho. “It's tough. We look at our table and we need to pick up points. It doesn't matter if it's home or away we [need] to get points again."
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com