Galaxy “impatient” in 3-2 El Tráfico loss

Javier Hernandez El Trafico
Spread the love

Two goals conceded in the span of three minutes sealed the Los Angeles Galaxy’s defeat to LAFC 3-2 in El Tráfico at Banc of California Stadium on Friday night.

On an emotional night when the home team unveiled its new signings, it was the Galaxy that let the moment get to them.

Galaxy “impatient” in 3-2 El Tráfico loss

Both teams came out with intensity, but only one managed it well.

From kickoff, the Galaxy gave the ball away time and time again, the main culprits being Séga Coulibaly and the normally dependable Raheem Edwards.

The defenders tried to get forward with the ball on multiple occasions, lost it, and got caught out of position.

“I felt like we got impatient,” Galaxy Head Coach Greg Vanney confessed. “You know, I said to the guys, a few too many, for sure, lost balls when we were trying to play out of the back, instead of quickly slipping the ball into somebody in our midfield and letting the game get going.” 

“When you dribble in as a defender and lose it, then you’re really exposing the transition. I thought we had too many of those.”

They would be punished early for one of those “impatient” moments. 

Fool me once…

After a scramble in their box and giving away a corner, one of the many unforced errors by the Galaxy on the night, they would make matters worse by gifting José Cifuentes an unmarked header for the game’s first goal in the 16th minute. 

The Ecuadorian rose up to meet Kellyn Acosta’s corner kick just behind Derrick Williams and powered his header past Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond, who got a touch but could not keep it out, to make the score 1-0.

The Galaxy almost got one back immediately.

A well-worked counter-attack on 20 minutes freed Rayan Raveloson in the middle of the field, who layed it off to Javier “Chicharito” Hernández with a back heel in his stride. The Galaxy captain played Dejan Joveljić on the left for the Serbian striker, with only LAFC Keeper Maxime Crepeau to beat. The LAFC shot-stopper was equal to it, however, and blocked Joveljić’s shot.

The teams from L.A. would trade punches for the rest of the half, but would go into the break with the home side leading 1-0.

The Galaxy started the second with different energy. 

Getting even

A more settled attack set up camp around LAFC’s 18-yard box for long stretches early in the half. Through patience they showed very little of in the rest of the game, the Galaxy got their goal. 

A 10-pass-sequence in which they moved the ball to both sides of the pitch ended with Samuel Grandsir’s first goal of the season for the G’s and the equalizer on 55 minutes.

Efraín Álvarez played Raveloson on the left-hand side of the attacking third after receiving it at the top of the box. The Madagascar international would cut it back for Grandsir to meet first time with a rifled right-footed shot to even the score at 1-1.

Sensing that the Galaxy midfield was too exposed, Vanney brought on Sacha Kljestan and Víctor Vázquez in the 69th minute. 

Fool me twice…

Within seconds, Cifuentes had his brace to give LAFC the lead 2-1. 

Before the double change had even settled, a driven Carlos Vela left-footed cross from the right side found a streaking Cifuentes in the box, who had only to glance the header in from close range.

Just two minutes later, the Galaxy would be made to pay for a turnover again.

A Julian Araujo giveaway in midfield was played to Carlos Vela, who slipped in Cristian “Chicho” Arango in the center of the pitch. Arango drove right at Williams and Coulibaly and took a low shot just outside the 18-yard box that Bond could only watch settle into the left corner of his net to make it 3-1 to the hosts.

It would prove to be the game-winner.

“You saw [in the] beginning and also in the second half that it was going back and forth all the time and this is not our game,” veteran midfielder Vázquez explained.  “This is their game, and they like to play like that. That’s why they also scored their two goals. We have to learn.”

Another fight back

Just like in games against FC Dallas and Houston where the Galaxy conceded two quick goals, they would be forced to fight back.

And it would be Vázquez, himself, who would lead the charge.

The Spaniard found himself with time on the right side of the box, picked his head up, and picked out Raveloson with a perfect cross for him to head home and make the score 3-2. 

The 4-4-2 system seems to be benefitting Raveloson, as he’s tallied three goals and one assist in the last two matches.

His goal set up a tense final 10+ minutes, but although they pressed hard, the Galaxy’s play to end the game was impatient. 

Their last attack of the evening was indicative of their night. 

Needing a goal to tie, Araujo launched an over-hit cross into the stands while no one was marking him to end the game 3-2. 

It was the Galaxy’s first loss in this series since October 25, 2020. 

Looking ahead: the California Clásico

Despite being overrun in midfield for sections of the match and giving away the ball almost criminally, the Galaxy had a chance to win.

Indeed, Galaxy players thought they even deserved to.

“Guys are obviously disappointed. Not getting the result and not getting at least a point, or three points, like we felt like we could have gotten. We felt like we were the better team,” a frustrated Mark Delgado shared.  

“We just need to do a better job in controlling our emotions.”

With another huge rivalry game coming up for the Galaxy at home against San Jose Earthquakes midweek on Wednesday, July 13,  Delgado’s teammates will need to heed him.

The second of four games in 13 days, emotions will play a part in the California Clásico, but Los Angeles must block out the noise. 

They dare not lose to two instate rivals in less than a week.

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Galaxy