Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
One of the most anticipated games all season provided fans with goals, end-to-end action, and plenty of heart-in-mouth moments. All it was missing was a winner.
Try as they might, and despite having a man advantage late, the Los Angeles Galaxy couldn’t find the final breakthrough the Seattle Sounders, settling for a 1-1 draw at the StubHub Center on Saturday evening. The match, which featured some of the top attacking talent in the league, was noteworthy for the talent that was missing from the game; Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) and Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) both missed out due to injury.
The Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes had the first real attempt on goal, but his curled drive was tipped over well by the Sounders’ Michael Gspurning in the 18th minute. The Sounders made their first real chance on goal count in the 25th minute, as Eddie Johnson ran free of his mark and sent a powerful header in for a goal off a Mauro Rosales corner kick.
It was Johnson’s eighth goal of the season and his third game in a row with a goal when he starts.
The Galaxy hit back just before halftime when Juninho gave those watching in the stadium and at home a moment of pure brilliance. The Brazilian midfielder stepped up to take a free kick and sent it perfectly curling over the bar and past Gspurning to tie the match in first half stoppage time.
Both sides in the second half shored up their defensive effort, keeping the ball away from the dangerous Robbie Keane and Obafemi Martins on either side. The Galaxy did have a goal disallowed in the 60th minute, but neither team were able to put another chance on target the rest of the way.
The Sounders were reduced to ten men when defender Zach Scott bundled over Galaxy substitute Laurent Courtois in the 90th minute, but the ensuing free kick taken by the Frenchman was always going over the bar.
The result keeps the Sounders atop the Western Conference with 50 points in 28 games due to Real Salt Lake’s loss on Saturday night, while the Galaxy have 45 points from 29 games and are in fourth place.
Here are the game highlights: