The LA Galaxy earn a draw thanks to a Riqui Puig’s late goal

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Richard "Riqui" Puig helps the LA Galaxy earn a draw at BMO Field

TORONTO, ON – It was a busy night at BMO Field as both teams looked to earn critical points needed to make the MLS Cup Playoffs. The LA Galaxy earn a draw though and spoil the party as Riqui Puig’s late goal tied the game.

The LA Galaxy earn a draw at BMO Field

Full Game Summary

First half

Douglas Costa scored following a free-kick to give the road team the lead. Yes, maybe the TFC goalkeeper could have done better, but it was still a well-struck shot by Costa.

Chris Mavinga made a vital interception and defensive play in the 30-minute. Javier Hernández of the Galaxy did not handle the ball well. Kosi Thompson’s pass to Richie Laryea was ahead of them, as there was a chance to get behind the Galaxy’s backline. There was good defence played by the Galaxy in the 40+3-minute of play.

Second half

Laryea prevented the player from getting the ball in the 55-minute. Laryea won the ball in the 58-minute. The game turned on to another level as the two teams were showing their passion and confrontations were frequent in this half.

This was a fantastic team goal by TFC. Michael Bradley delivered the ball to Ifunanyachi Achara. Achara’s pass was deflected, but it still landed on Jesus Jimenez’s feet as he scored. This was Jimenez’s first goal since June 29 in a 2-1 loss to Trillium Cup rivals, Columbus Crew SC.

Just before the goal, Victor Vazquez passed the ball to Galaxy’s Samuel Grandsir, but his shot missed the net. Michael Bradley’s shot was blocked in the 65-minute. Lorenzo Insigne’s shot was off-target in the 66-minute.

Laryea delivered a pass to Federico Bernardeschi got behind the Galaxy’s backline and was able to draw a penalty from inside the box. The Galaxy’s Raheem Edwards was the one who gave up the foul. Bernardeschi then converted the penalty, even though Jonathan Bond got a big touch of the ball before going into the back of the net.

Riqui Perez replied shortly afterward with a goal of his own. His movement on and off the ball was spectacular. Gastón Brugman also did a good job finding him for the game-tying goal.

Game Analysis

The Los Angeles Galaxy are on the outside looking into the MLS Cup Playoffs, but things look promising for the squad. They are only one point behind the Portland Timbers with two games in hand. They are right there to possibly make the MLS Cup Playoffs and also have favourable opponents. Only two of their next seven opponents are in the MLS Cup Playoffs position. The Galaxy though cannot remain complacent.

TFC has also been unable to prevent late goals from happening like this game and the home draw against the San Jose Earthquakes. This is what Toronto FC head coach, Bob Bradley said about that after the game:

“Yeah, but when you say those things, every guy in there would say yeah, we have to close out a win but then it comes down to a moment.” Bradley said, “It’s dealing with different moments in games, it’s making plays, it’s not trying to play up the field, it’s trying to get another goal.”

To be fair, the goal scored by Puig is not a goal that is seen too often. It does show the quality the Galaxy has though and why they are poised to make the MLS Cup Playoffs this year.

For Toronto FC, they also have a shot. They are two points behind Inter Miami CF, who has played one less game than TFC. Other than the NY Red Bulls and the Philadelphia Union, who are first and third in the Eastern Conference, TFC is the only team that has played 29 games. That means teams like Atlanta United FC, who are one point behind, can theoretically catch up to TFC. There is also the factor of FC Cincinnati, who are one point behind Miami but have also played two fewer games than Toronto FC.

Games coming up for both teams

Both teams will be playing on Sunday, September. 4. The Los Angeles Galaxy will host Sporting Kansas City at Dignity Health Sports Park at 8:08 p.m ET. The game will be shown live on MLS Live on DAZN, Spectrum SportsNet, and 38 The Spot. This is while Toronto FC, faces their Canadian Classique rivals, CF Montreal, at BMO Field at 7:38 p.m. ET.

Three takeaways from the Galaxy earn a draw at BMO Field:

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Toronto FC played well defensively. This is a bit odd to say, as TFC gave up two goals. However, those two goals did not happen, because they got behind TFC’s backline. Chris Mavinga made some terrific defensive plays that might have prevented goals and Laryea also made some great defensive plays. The centre-backs of Mavinga and Lukas MacNaughton do deserve credit for not allowing the Galaxy many opportunities to score behind TFC’s backline. This is what Bradley said in the post-game conference:

“Overall, I think the play from both of those guys, the understanding has been better. It’s been a very good stretch for Chris, his best stretch of the year. So very pleased about that. And I think Lucas has made a lot of progress this year.”

Toronto FC only had two shots on goal. TFC had 13 shots compared to the Galaxy’s 12. Unfortunately, Toronto only had two shots on goal while the Galaxy had five. This includes Lorenzo Insigne and Bernardeschi, who put themselves in good positions, but was unable to convert.

Los Angeles Galaxy earns a point thanks to two fantastic goals. One could say that for the first goal TFC goalkeeper, Alex Bono, could have saved it. However, Bono did not get a hand of the ball and full credit should be given to Costa for the goal. The second goal, which was scored by Puig from outside of the box might have been the MLS Goal of the Week.