LA Galaxy clinch a playoff spot with a 2-1 come-from-behind win over FC Dallas

CARSON, Calif. -- Alan Gordon scored again off the bench Saturday night and the LA Galaxy pulled even on points with Western Conference and Supporters' Shield leader Seattle, rallying for a 2-1 victory over visiting FC Dallas.

Gordon headed home a cross from Robbie Keane in the 83rd minute, his fourth goal since joining the Galaxy in a trade last month from San Jose -- and his third after entering the game as a substitute.

Keane also scored, his 15th goal of the season, as LA (15-5-9) extended their unbeaten streak to eight games, clinched a playoff berth and reached 54 points, same as the Sounders (17-8-3), which are ahead on the total wins tiebreaker and have a game in hand on the Galaxy. The teams meet in the final two weekends of the regular season.

Blas Perez netted his ninth goal of the season, and his third in two games, to give Dallas (13-10-6) a 62nd-minute lead, but Keane equalized just eight minutes later, and LA didn't concede another dangerous chance.

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Dallas, which were without leading scorer Fabian Castillo and backline leader Matt Hedges, remain fourth in the West and fifth in the Shield standings, nine points off the lead.

FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja gave Castillo and Hedges the night off ahead of Wednesday's showdown with Seattle, the club reported, so Kellyn Acosta stepped in at right back (with Je-Vaughn Watson moving next to Zach Loyd in the middle) and Ryan Hollingshead on the right flank (with Andres Escobar taking Castillo's usual spot on the left).

Midfielder Landon Donovan returned from suspension for the Galaxy. Jaime Penedo, back from the Copa Centroamericana, was back in the nets.

Gyasi Zardes had two big chances before halftime, firing high on a rebound in the 26th minute after Raul Fernandez went to the ground to stop Donovan's shot following a give-and-do with Keane, then heading a Donovan free kick over the crossbar in the 42nd.

Dallas went ahead, against the run of play, nine minutes into the second half. Escobar collected a throw-in on the right flank and crossed into the area, just above the 6-yard box. Perez outleapt Dan Gargan and nodded the ball past Penedo and into the netting inside the right post.

Acosta nearly doubled the advantage in the 61st, blistering a shot just past the left post, but LA was even within a minute.

Gargan whipped in a low cross from the right, and the ball fell to Dallas midfielder Victor Ulloa, who struggled to get his footing correct before clearing the ball. Zardes, behind him, took the ball away and tapped it square to Keane, whose first-time shot went off Fernandez's fingertips en route to the net.

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Gordon, who scored equalizers off the bench in the 4-3 win Aug. 20 at Colorado and in the 2-2 draw Sept. 10 at Montreal, came on for Zardes in the 75th minute. He gave LA the lead eight minutes later, creating space behind Loyd and heading Keane's cross from the left back across the goalmouth and inside the left post.

Mauro Diaz, who came on in the second half for FC Dallas, departed in the 83rd with an unidentified injury.

The Galaxy is home next Sunday against New York, while Dallas face Seattle midweek.

 

LA Galaxy 2, FC Dallas 1

Saturday, Sept. 20 – 7:30 p.m. PT

MLS Regular Season

StubHub Center – Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:

DAL – Blas Perez (Assisted by Landon Donovan) 54’

LA – Robbie Keane (Assisted by Gyasi Zardes) 62’

LA – Alan Gordon (Assisted by Robbie Keane) 84’

Misconduct Summary:

DAL– Kellyn Acosta (caution) 23’

DAL– Victor Ulloa (caution) 35’

DAL – Moises Hernandez (caution) 42’

LA – Omar Gonzalez (caution) 69’

LA – Marcelo Sarvas (caution) 74’

LA – Landon Donovan (caution) 90’

Lineups:

LA Galaxy: Jaime Penedo; Dan Gargan, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Robbie Rogers; Baggio Husidic (Stefan Ishizaki 62’), Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas, Landon Donovan; Robbie Keane ©, Gyasi Zardes (Alan Gordon 75’).

Substitutes Not Used: Brian Rowe, Leonardo, James Riley, Rafael Garcia, Kenney Walker.

TOTAL SHOTS: 19; SHOTS ON GOAL: 7; FOULS: 17; OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 0.

FC Dallas: Raúl Fernández; Je-Vaughn Watson, Kellyn Acosta, Zach Loyd, Moises; Hernandez, Victor Ulloa, Andrés Escobar, Michel, Ryan Hollingshead (Mauro Díaz 56’ [Jair Benitez 83’]); Tesho Akindele (Adam Moffat 75’), Blas Pérez ©

Substitutes Not Used: Coy Craft, David Texeira, Chris Seitz, Walter Cabrera.

TOTAL SHOTS: 9; SHOTS ON GOAL: 1; FOULS: 7; OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 5.

Referee: Kevin Stott

Referee’s Assistants: Jeremy Hanson and Eduardo Mariscal

4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal

Attendance: 22,863