Orlando City SC‘s recent two-game winning streak was brought to an end with a halt on Sunday as LA Galaxy ran out comfortable 4-2 victors at StubHub Center in Carson.
Immediately returning to City’s starting eleven alongside Cyle Larin following the international break, the sad thing for Orlando City SC fans is that following this goal, it all rapidly went downhill.
Despite Bruce Arena’s side missing Steven Gerrard with Robbie Keane only fit enough for the bench, perennial dangerman Giovani dos Santos proved good enough to turn the tide in this one.
Receiving a pin-point cross from Emmanuel Boateng with no Orlando City SC desire to stop it, dos Santos scored an easy tap in to equalise on 34 minutes while just three minutes later, Galaxy had completely turned the game on its head.
With LA Galaxy finding joy down Kevin Alston‘s right hand side for what seemed like the umpteenth time, a Jelle Van Damme cross found Alan Gordon who prodded in the Belgian’s centre to stun the Lions.
The game was then effectively put out of reach when referee Ismail Elfath got a call completely and utterly wrong when adjudging José Aja to have tripped Alan Gordon for what he thought was inside the box on 43 minutes.
Clearly OUTSIDE the area, Giovani dos Santos tucked the spot kick away past Joe Bendik to earn his brace while leapfrogging Cyle Larin in the MLS Golden Boot race (14 goals) in turn.
Heading into the break 3-1 down, Orlando City SC were playing for pride in the second-half but it got worse when substitute Robbie Keane finished off a cutting counter from Sebastian Lletget and dos Santos on 69 minutes.
Following this, LA Galaxy had then provided the perfect scenario to sub in prodigal son Landon Donovan to rapturous applause following his shock decision to come out of retirement last Thursday.
The only real positive from the Lions’ second-half performance was Brek Shea’s 20-minute cameo from the bench with the 26-year-old looking really fired up when coming on, stinging Brian Rowe’s palms with a cracking drive on 78 minutes.
Not to be denied, Shea then netted a well-placed consolation strike in stoppage time, his second in a week and third in an Orlando City SC jersey overall.
Jason Kreis‘ men now return to Camping World Stadium for a showdown with fierce Eastern Conference rivals Columbus Crew on Saturday knowing that with only ONE game in hand on New England Revolution now, any further errors could prove catastrophic.
LA Galaxy 4 Orlando City SC 2 – Highlights – September 11, 2016 (Credit: LA Galaxy)
LA Galaxy vs Orlando City SC, 07.09.2016
StubHub Center, Carson, California
Major League Soccer
Joe Bendik | 7/10
Kevin Alston | 5/10
José Aja | 6/10
David Mateos | 5/10
Luke Boden | 7/10
Antonio Nocerino | 5/10
Servando Carrasco | 6/10
Matías Pérez García | 6/10
Kaká | 6/10
Kevin Molino | 7/10
Cyle Larin | 5/10