One howler, one stunner, and the LA Galaxy's long unbeaten run is over.
Sporting Kansas City's 2-1 victory on Saturday night snapped the Galaxy's streak at nine matches across all competitions, and widened Sporting's lead in the Western Conference to five points over Houston and FC Dallas.
The visitors went up 1-0 in the 22nd minute -- with the help of Galaxy goalkeeper Clement Diop. Diop went to punch out Roger Espinoza's blast from distance, rather than simply catching it, and instead succeeded only in deflecting the ball into his own net, sinking to the pitch and covering his face with his own jersey as Sporting celebrated.
Center back Ike Opara, playing up on a free kick, made it 2-0 in the 35th -- and in spectacular fashion. Opara let a ball from Matt Besler take a big bounce, set up with his back to goal, and sent a perfect bicycle kick past an onrushing Diop.
The Galaxy's Dave Romney pulled one back on a corner kick in the 77th minute, getting his putback just over the line after a save from Tim Melia. Melia got his fingertips to Romney's shot as well, but the ball deflected off the underside of the bar and landed just over the line.
- LA: Wednesday vs Sacramento (US Open Cup), 10:30 p.m. ET
- SKC: Wednesday at Houston (US Open Cup), 6:30 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy: Clement Diop; Nathan Smith, Dave Romney, Jelle Van Damme ©, Ashley Cole; Rafael Garcia (João Pedro 60’), Jaime Villarreal; Gyasi Zardes (Bradford Jamieson IV 77’), Romain Alessandrini, Emmanuel Boateng; Jack McBean (Jose Villarreal 62’).
Bench: Jon Kempin, Hugo Arellano, Ariel Lassiter, Jack McInerney
Head Coach: Curt Onalfo
TOTAL SHOTS: 17; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; FOULS: 14; OFFSIDE: 0; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 3
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Matt Besler ©, Graham Zusi, Seth Sinovic, Ike Opara; Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza, Benny Feilhaber (Jimmy Medranda 61’), Gerso Fernandes; Dominic Dwyer (Soni Mustivar 90’+2’), Latif Blessing (Daniel Salloi 72’).
Substitutions not used: Saad Abdul-Salaam, Kevin Ellis, Andrew Dykstra, Soony Saad.
Head Coach: Peter Vermes
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; FOULS: 12; OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 4
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Mike Kampmeinert, Adam Garner
Fourth Official: Dave Gantar