LAFC escaped a possible home defeat on Saturday night as Carlos Vela came to the rescue in stoppage time.
Vela’s 94th minute penalty kick was enough to earn Bob Bradley’s side a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC at home. Tsubasa Endoh put the visitors ahead early, but the hosts would fight back to earn a point.
Elsewhere, Uriel Antuna and Zlatan Ibrahimovic connected twice to help the L.A. Galaxy win at home, while Atlanta United downed the San Jose Earthquakes despite Josef Martinez leaving the match injured.
Here’s a closer look at Saturday’s MLS action:
Atlanta United 3 – Earthquakes 1
(Meram 4, Hyndman 90, G. Martinez 90+2′)-(Guzan OG 27′)
Atlanta United left it late, but they took all three points off the San Jose Earthquakes at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Josef Martinez’s goal scoring streak came to an end, as the forward left the match with an injury in the second half.
It looked like another Atlanta romp early on when Justin Meram scored on a wonderful shot in just the fourth minute of play. Despite a few other chances to double the lead, it was the Quakes levelling in the 27th minute. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan deflected a Cristian Espinoza cross into his own net to tie the game at one.
Despite San Jose going down to ten men after Espinoza picked up a red card in the 34th minute, tt would stay that way with Atlanta more or less in control of the game until Emerson Hyndman broke the deadlock in the 90th minute with his team also down a man thanks to the Martinez injury. Darlington Nagbe started the move with a nice run down the center of the pitch. He got to the top of the penalty area before picking out Hyndman, who roofed his shot after beating Daniel Vega.
Pity Martinez added another in stoppage time as the Quakes got caught out pushing for an equalizer. San Jose were another man down thanks to Chris Wondolowski picking up a straight red card shortly after the Hyndman goal.
Atlanta are already in the playoffs and are pushing for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. They are next in action on wednesday night against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium. The Quakes are still in the mix in the very crowded Western Conference and will return home to take on the Philadelphia Union, also on Wednesday night.
Whitecaps 1 – Crew 1
(Montero 90+4′)-(Zardes PK 18′)
The Vancouver Whitecaps managed to steal a point from the visiting Columbus Crew thanks to a late, late equalizer from Freddy Montero.
The Crew went in front in the 19th minute when Gyasi Zardes scored from the penalty spot. Vancouver keeper Zac MacMath was guilty of one of the obvious penalties you’ll see all year when he took down Pedro Santos as he was bolting after a loose ball in the box.
There weren’t many chances for either team for a large portion of the match, especially from the Whitecaps. It took them until the final kick of the match to salvage a point when Ali Adnan put a cross in for Montero, who made no mistake as he rose to head the ball into the back of the net. The final whistle went seconds after the restart to end the game at 1-1.
Neither of these two sides have a conceivable chance at the playoffs in the final weeks of the season. Vancouver will head on the road for the final time in 2019 next Sunday when they face the LA Galaxy. Columbus, meanwhile, has their home finale against the Philadelphia Union the same day.
Cincinnati 0 – Fire 0
Simply put, Chicago Fire disappointed on the road at Nippert Stadium.
Heading into the game already needing help from Real Salt Lake to stay in the hunt for an Eastern Conference playoff spot, the team failed to earn points against struggling FC Cincinnati which might have proved that a playoff berth would have been inconsequential.
Despite amassing 16 shots, only one found the gloves of Cincinnati keeper Przemyslaw Tyton, and Chicago found itself grinding out a long, sustained run of chances from Cincy to close out the game and settle for a point.
For Cincinnati, the night marks the first point earned at home under new head coach Ron Jans and sees the team collect four points in its last three games, which trends up from how the rest of the season has gone.
Last week, the team tied the 2017 Orlando City season for most-ever goals conceded and will have to grind out two more weeks in order to not break the infamous record.
Revs 0 – Real Salt Lake 0
Neither New England nor RSL were capable of truly bettering their playoff hopes in this scoreless draw.
The game played out much like two sides who had little interest in losing. The Revs were more active in the attack with a 23-9 advantage in total shots. Only three of those 20 attempts found the target, however and none of them could have qualified for anything more than a half-chance
The Revs are still clinging to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They have three games remaining starting with a difficult midweek trip to Portland to face the struggling Timbers on Wednesday. RSL are in the thick of the Western Conference race and will take on the Galaxy at home on Wednesday night.
Dynamo 0 – Orlando City 1
Sporting KC 2 – Rapids 3
(Gerso 3′, Smith OG 14′)-(Kamara 42′, Rubio 76′, Smith 85′)
The Colorado Rapids took advantage of Sporting Kansas City going a man down early to turn around a two goal deficit to take all three points and put SKC’s playoff hopes on life support.
SKC got off to a hot start with two goals within the first quarter-hour. Gerso Fernandes got them in front after only three minutes and an own goal off Tommy Smith doubled the lead in the 14th. Their good fortune wouldn’t last much longer, however. Matt Besler got himself sent off for a second yellow card in just the 20th minute, forcing the home side to play a man down for the remaining 70 minutes.
It took a while, but Colorado did take advantage. Kei Kamara scored in the 42nd minute to cut the deficit to one going into the break.
Colorado kept control of possession into the second half and they equalized in the 76th minute despite a pretty valiant SKC defensive stand. It was former SKC man Dieo Rubio firing it home into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area to bring the match level.
Their winner came from Smith, who redeemed himself for the earlier own goal with a well-placed header off a corner in the 85th minute.
Both of these sides are barely clinging to slim playoff hopes. Colorado has their final home game of the season next Sunday against FC Dallas and Kansas City heads on the road to face Minnesota United on Wednesday.
Galaxy 2 – Impact 1
The L.A. Galaxy made it back-to-back league wins on Saturday, downing the Montreal Impact 2-1 in Carson.
Uriel Antuna’s second-half goal proved to be the winner as the hosts ran away with al three points.
Antuna would set up the opening goal of the match, scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker’s low drive beat Evan Bush for a 1-0 Galaxy lead.
The Impact answered back though two minutes after the halftime break. Saphir Taider’s cross was headed in by Lassi Lappalainen to tie things up.
Antuna would have the final say though in the 50th minute, this time finishing off Ibrahimovic’s assist for his second point of the evening.
Lappalainen had the best look late in the half to earn the Impact a point, but the visitors could not beat David Bingham who finished the night with two saves.
LAFC 1 – Toronto FC 1
LAFC earned a late point at Banc of California Stadium as Carlos Vela’s 94th minute penalty earned them a 1-1 draw against Toronto FC.
After it looked like the hosts would be denied a home win, Vela stepped up and scored in stoppage time to earn his side a share of the spoils. Latif Blessing drew the foul and Vela made no mistake to score his – goal of the season.
Tsubasa Endoh’s low drive past Tyler Miller in the 18th minute put Toronto FC in front after being set up by Jozy Altidore.
LAFC picked up the pressure in the second-half, forcing Quentin Westberg into some top saves after the halftime interval.
Both teams walked away with a point apiece.