The LA Galaxy knocked off expansion side Austin FC 2-0 on Saturday afternoon, earning their first shutout of the Greg Vanney era and winning for the fourth time in five games to challenge for the Western Conference’s top spot.
Sebastian Lletget bagged his first goal of the 2021 campaign, curling home LA’s opener in the 35th minute after collecting a longball from center back Daniel Steres. Austin right back Hector Jimenez got injured in the process while trying to acrobatically clear the attack, though couldn’t stop Lletget from making it 1-0.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez then doubled LA’s lead in the 77th minute, powering home a cross from right back Julian Araujo that left Austin’s defense retreating. Chicharito made a strong near-post run, tallying his league-leading seventh goal to extend his lead atop the Golden Boot presented by Audi chart.
Chicharito was stymied in the first half, however, as Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver saved his penalty kick in the 26th minute. Stuver dove to his left, making amends for center back Jhohan Romana fouling Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer just inside the 18-yard box.
Galaxy winger Kevin Cabral made his long-awaited debut as a second-half substitute, joining in April from Ligue 2 side Valenciennes FC as a Young Designated Player. Cabral thought he opened his account in the 85th minute after Chicharito set up a confident finish, but he was offside on the 3-0 strike.
Meanwhile, Austin played without defensive midfielder Alexander Ring after he was shown a red card last weekend against Sporting Kansas City. Daniel Pereira, the No. 1 pick in the 2021 SuperDraft, started in his place.
35' – LA – Sebastian Lletget
77' – LA – Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez