LA Galaxy 1, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0 | 2020 MLS Match Recap
A stoppage-time goal by Kai Koreniuk broke open a scoreless grind of a match, and the LA Galaxy broke a six-game losing streak, winning 1-0 against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Sunday night.
It was certainly a better first half for the Galaxy than their prior outing on Wednesday. Though neither team scored in the opening 45 minutes, the Galaxy looked the more threatening side by halftime. Yet, the home side couldn't put away some opportunities for the opening goal. In the sixth minute, Cristian Pavon was sprung free for a 1-on-1 against goalkeeper Evan Bush, but Bush bested him in the showdown. Then, Yony Gonzalez was lively in the latter part of the half, including an audacious bicycle kick attempt that went wide.
But Gonzalez picked up a knock was visibly limping at the start the second half, leading the Galaxy to make the obvious sub, putting Chicharito on to lead the line. Though the second half provided some entertaining battles, particularly between Vancouver's Ali Adnan and LA's Julian Araujo, the teams had a challenging time generating offense.
Chicharito had several late attempts, including a 78th-minute look that sailed over the bar, an 82nd-minute shot that was blocked before it could get goalward, and an 84th-minute attempt where he mishit Pavon's potential assist. But then, in stoppage time, Pavon was able to find Koreniuk for the match winner.
Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann was able to hang on to earn his first MLS clean sheet, despite one last-gasp effort from the 'Caps that needed to be cleared off the line by a Galaxy defender.
- 90' + 1' – LA – Kai Koreniuk | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Oh, did the Galaxy need this win. It may have not been pretty or convincing or send LA into the playoffs instantly, but this was an essential first step toward righting the season. For the Whitecaps, trying to at least hang on to the West's final playoff spot, a scoreless draw would have done more to help than this outcome.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: According to Opta, Koreniuk's goal was the first to be scored by a Galaxy sub all season, and it came at a very vital juncture in the match.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Pavon proved to be the most consistent attacker on the field, coming close to scoring himself and setting up teammates for attempts. It may have taken until stoppage time to finally pay off, but the win largely hinged on his effort.