Recap: Sporting KC suffers late 2-1 loss at LA Galaxy

Sporting Kansas City suffered their second loss of the season on Saturday in a late 2-1 defeat at the LA Galaxy. Omar Gonzalez came off the bench to score the game-winning goal in the 94th minute after Baggio Husidic and Krisztian Nemeth traded goals in the first half.

 
The Galaxy, winners of three of the past four MLS Cup championships at StubHub Center, extended their 26-game home unbeaten streak with the victory and moved into third place in the Western Conference, two points above Sporting KC, seven weeks into the 2015 season.
 
The two sides - reunited in the Western Conference for the first time since 2004 when the clubs finished first and second in the regular season en route to a Conference Championship showdown - combined for an entertaining, back-and-forth opening 45 minutes that left the score level up until the final moments. The Galaxy threatened first in the game's second minute when Alan Gordon nearly connected on a cross from 18-year-old Bradford Jamieson IV, making his first MLS start.
 
The home side then took the lead just over eight minutes into the match when Husidic hammered home a rebound for his first goal of the year. Stefan Ishizaki's well-struck shot was parried away by Luis Marin but only as far as Husidic, who made no mistake in capitalizing on the opportunity with a simple finish.
 
Sporting Kansas City responded with an impressive equalizer, unlocking the Galaxy backline through the combination play of Dom Dwyer and Benny Feilhaber to set up Nemeth for his second goal in three games. Dwyer cut inside from the right flank and delivered an entry ball to Feilhaber near the penalty mark. The World Cup veteran squared a first-time pass into space for Nemeth and the Hungarian calmly chipped the outrushing goalkeeper to cap off the sequence.
 
Feilhaber now has five assists in 2015, most among all Major League Soccer players, while Nemeth moves into the team lead with two goals in his debut MLS campaign. 
 
No player has been fouled more in MLS this season than Dom Dwyer (25 fouls suffered) and it was a set piece earned by the Englishman that nearly gave Sporting KC the lead in the 28th minute. Feilhaber's free kick connected with Servando Carrasco at the top of the six-yard box but his header carried over the crossbar.
 
Left back Marcel de Jong would join the attack as space opened up and the Canadian international created Sporting Kansas City's next two scoring opportunities with attempts from outside the area. His first shot in the 35th minute forced a sprawling save from Jaime Penedo and then again a minute later, de Jong had the Panamanian beaten only to see his shot glance off the outside of the far post.
 
Sporting Kansas City would go the remainder of regulation without a shot on goal as the Galaxy sought the go-ahead goal in front of more than 20,000 fans gathered in southern California. The visitors best scoring chance of the second half came in the 68th minute on a cross sent into the box by Roger Espinoza and settled by Dwyer before shooting high of frame from 10 yards out.
 
Luis Marin matched his season-high with four saves on Saturday, including a pair of important interventions just seconds apart. In the 72nd minute, the Chilean dove strong to his left to thwart Juninho's blast from 30 yards out; then soon thereafter raced off his line to challenge Gyasi Zardes and win the ball in the 1-v-1 situation.
 
Those actions proved to be a precursor to Marin's best moment of the night in the 76th minute. Zardes, a second half substitute after going the full 90 for the U.S. MNT on Wednesday in a 2-0 win over Mexico, cut the ball back for fellow homegrown signing Jamieson IV - who marked his MLS debut with an assist against Sporting KC in 2014. Now looking for a memorable first MLS goal, Jamieson IV took the ball in stride and played a backheel toward net that was turned away at close range by an instinctual foot save from Marin.
 
With four minutes of stoppage time added to the second half, the Galaxy walked away on the winning side by converting what was likely the game's final play. Juninho's corner kick fell to Gonzalez, who directed the ball goalward - and eventually into the net off a deflection from Bernardo Anor - with an outstretched leg amidst the scramble.
 
The game-winning goal was the latest conceded by Sporting KC since the team's 2014 opener at Seattle and marked the Galaxy's second stoppage-time goal of 2015 to claim points. The 2015 rematch will wait until the season's final day when the Galaxy travel to Sporting Park on Oct. 25. 
 
Bruce Arena's squad will now travel cross country to take on Eastern Conference leaders New York next Sunday. Sporting Kansas City will remain on the road with a trip to Houston in a week's time to face the Dynamo under their new head coach Owen Coyle at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday.
 
Major League Soccer
Regular Season: Game 7
 
StubHub Center | Carson, CA
Attendance: 20,018
Weather: 70 degrees and clear
 
Score 1 2 F
Sporting KC (2-2-3, 9 pts) 1 0 1
LA Galaxy (3-2-2, 11 pts) 1 1 2

Sporting Kansas City: Luis Marin; Marcel de Jong (Amadou Dia 75), Matt Besler (c), Kevin Ellis, Jalil Anibaba; Servando Carrasco, Roger Espinoza, Benny Feilhaber; Krisztian Nemeth (Bernardo Anor 75), Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi (Jacob Peterson 92)

Subs Not Used: Tim Melia, Paulo Nagamura, Soni Mustivar, Connor Hallisey

LA Galaxy: Jaime Penedo; Dan Gargan, A.J. DeLaGarza, Tommy Meyer (Omar Gonzalez 78), Robbie Rogers; Stefan Ishizaki (Gyasi Zardes 69), Rafael Garcia (Mike Vayrynen 66), Juninho (c), Baggio Husidic; Bradford Jamieson, Alan Gordon

Subs Not Used: Brian Rowe, Oscar Sorto, Jose Villarreal, Ignacio Maganto

Stats SKC LA
Shots 10 9
Shots on Goal 2 6
Saves 4 1
Fouls 12 11
Offside 3 2
Corner Kicks 3 9

Misconduct Summary:
SKC -- Roger Espinoza (caution; tactical foul) 30 
LA -- Dan Gargan (caution; reckless tackle) 32 
LA -- Juninho (caution; unsporting behavior) 83 
SKC -- Dom Dwyer (caution; unsporting behavior) 83

Scoring Summary:
LA -- Baggio Husidic 1 (unassisted) 9 
SKC -- Krisztian Nemeth 2 (Benny Feilhaber 5, Dom Dwyer 1) 22 
LA -- Omar Gonzalez 1 (Juninho 2) 94+

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