October 14, 2007 MLS Los Angelese Galaxy vs Toronto FC (from MLSnet.com)
TFC can't stop streaking Galaxy
Club has to play a man down after Reda is sent off with a red card
By Greg Daurio / MLSnet.com Staff
CARSON, Calif. -- Thanks to goals from Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle, the Los Angeles Galaxy kept alive their bid for a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs for one more week, pulling out a 2-1 victory against a 10-man Toronto FC at The Home Depot Center on Saturday evening. Donovan's goal came in the 56th minute from the penalty spot after Marco Reda was sent off for pulling down Gavin Glinton from behind. Collin Samuel still managed to pull TFC level in the 68th minute, but Buddle scored 10 minutes later to give the Galaxy their fifth consecutive victory.
The win moved the Galaxy to within four points of the Chicago Fire and Kansas City Wizards, who are tied for seventh place in the MLS overall standings, and the Galaxy have a game in hand. They will also take on the Fire at Toyota Park in the final game of the 2007 regular season.
Los Angeles came into the game knowing what it needed to do to keep its playoff hopes alive. While a tie wouldn't have ended any hope of a visit to the postseason, a win was paramount. Toronto looked more than happy to play the role of spoilers early on, as their offense was limited to a couple of solo runs into the offensive third.
It was on one of those runs that Samuel won a free kick deep in the Galaxy's defensive third. Former Galaxy left back Todd Dunivant took the free kick and sent a dangerous ball to the corner of the six that froze Joe Cannon to his line. The ball pinged around in front of goal before Cannon deflected the ball out for a corner kick.
The next few chances all fell to the Galaxy, who were pushing for the all-important first goal. In the 23rd minute Donovan found Kyle Martino streaking down the left flank. Martino drove a cross to the back post where Cobi Jones rose as high as he could, but couldn't direct his header down on target.
Minutes later Los Angeles was pressing again. Donovan used a bit of trickery, scooping a pass over the Toronto back four to Martino, who had made a well-timed run to beat the offside trap. Martino dribbled in and tried to chip TFC 'keeper Kenny Stamatopoulos, but missed high with his shot.
Donovan continued to be all over the field, and in the 28th minute set up another dangerous chance for the Galaxy. He crossed the ball from the left side where Jones tried to chest the ball down for Carlos Pavon. s Pavon tried to turn in the area, a pair of defenders converged on him and in the melee Stamatopoulos managed to pounce on the loose ball.
As the first half started to wind down it was Toronto that began pressing the issue offensively. Their best chance came in the 43rd minute, when Chris Pozniak sent a long ball into the Galaxy penalty area from a poorly cleared corner. The ball found Tyrone Marshall, who appeared to be offside, but the flag stayed down. The ex-Galaxy player attempted a full volley, but couldn't find the target despite hitting the ball well.
Toronto started the second half how it had ended the first, and kept the pressure on the home team. In the 51st minute Samuel received a pass at the edge of the 18, turned and fired a low shot on frame. Cannon got down well to make the save, and keep the game scoreless.
Looking to turn the tide, Galaxy head coach Frank Yallop turned to his bench in the 53rd minute, bringing on Glinton. The move paid immediate dividends.
Glinton used his pace to race onto a through ball, and as he carried on into the area, he was pulled down from behind by Reda. Referee Terry Vaughn showed Reda a straight red card as he was the last defender, and Donovan stepped up and buried the penalty to give the Galaxy a 1-0 lead.
Even down a man, Toronto pressed for the equalizer and nearly got it in the 62nd minute. Samuel took a free kick from 25 yards out and his blistering shot made it through traffic and handcuffed Cannon who punched the ball high into the air before it bounced just beyond the post for a corner kick.
In the 66th minute Pavon created a chance out of nothing. From 30 yards out the Honduran ripped a shot that forced a diving save from Stamatopoulos. Glinton chased down the rebound but the Galaxy couldn't capitalize.
Samuel made them pay in the 68th minute on a counterattack. The Trinidad & Tobago international latched onto a Pozniak ball out of midfield and beat Mike Randolph on the right side. Samuel blasted a low shot past Cannon and into the back of the net to level the score.
The Galaxy came close to regaining the lead in the 76th minute. Jones collected the ball in midfield and began a long run towards goal. As he approached the area nobody closed him down, so Jones cut to the middle and fired a left-footed shot on target. Unfortunately for Jones his shot was straight at Stamatopoulos, who made the save.
Minutes later, Glinton played a cross into the area from the left side. Pavon rose up and hit a glancing header right at the Toronto 'keeper that left the Honduran holding his head at the chance he had just missed.
The Galaxy pressure finally paid off in the 78th minute. Donovan slipped Chris Klein in behind the Toronto defense with a terrific through ball on the right side. With the offside trap beaten, Klein had a pair of options running free toward goal. He played a cross along the ground to the back post where Buddle, who had just come on as a sub, tucked the ball into the back of the empty net.
Los Angeles managed one last scoring chance in stoppage time. Jones found Donovan breaking down the center of the field and the U.S. star went on a 40-yard breakaway before trying to beat Stamatopoulos at the near post, but the Toronto 'keeper made the save to keep things close.
But the Galaxy weren't threatened the rest of the way, and now set their sights on a Thursday home game against the New York Red Bulls in yet another must-win game to keep their improbable, incredible playoff charge rolling. Toronto FC conclude their inaugural season with a home game against the New England Revolution next Saturday.
Greg Daurio is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
Toronto FC (6-17-6) vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (9-13-6) October 13, 2007 -- The Home Depot Center Scoring Summary: LA -- Landon Donovan 8 (penalty kick) 56 TOR -- Collin Samuel 2 (Chris Pozniak 3) 68 LA -- Edson Buddle 5 (Chris Klein 4, Landon Donovan 12) 78 Toronto FC -- Kenny Stamatopoulos, Adam Braz, Tyrone Marshall, Marco Reda, Gabe Gala (Miguel Canizalez 67), Tyler Hemming, Marvell Wynne, Chris Pozniak, Todd Dunivant, Jeff Cunningham, Collin Samuel, Substitutes Not Used: Srdjan Djekanovic, David Guzman, Andrea Lombardo, Stephen Lumley, Joey Melo, Cristian Nunez Los Angeles Galaxy -- Joe Cannon, Chris Klein, Ante Jazic, Troy Roberts, Mike Randolph, Cobi Jones, Josh Tudela (Edson Buddle 77), Peter Vagenas (Kevin Harmse 69), Kyle Martino (Gavin Glinton 53), Landon Donovan, Carlos Pavon, Substitutes Not Used: Mike Caso, Steve Cronin, Kelly Gray, Abel Xavier Los Angeles Galaxy Toronto FC total shots: 10 (Landon Donovan 3, Carlos Pavon 3) 9 (Collin Samuel 5) shots on goal: 6 (Landon Donovan 2, Carlos Pavon 2) 6 (Collin Samuel 5) fouls: 5 (5 tied with 1) 9 (Adam Braz 2) offsides: 11 (Carlos Pavon 5) 2 (Jeff Cunningham 1, Marvell Wynne 1) corner kicks: 2 (Landon Donovan 2) 5 (Todd Dunivant 3) saves: 5 (Joe Cannon 5) 4 (Kenny Stamatopoulos 4) Misconduct Summary: TOR -- Adam Braz (caution; Reckless Foul) 35 TOR -- Marco Reda (ejection; Denied Goal Scoring Opportunity (Foul)) 54 referee: Terry Vaughn Referee's Assistants: Chris Strickland; David Bragg 4th official: Ramon Hernandez time of game: 1:51 attendance: 27,000 weather: Clear -and- 66 degrees All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial
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