CM – Galaxy and LAFC fail to complete MLS Cup qualifiers – Cameroon Magazine

The Galaxy didn’t lose a game, but they did drop a playoff berth on Sunday, rallying in a wild 3-3 draw with Minnesota United but failed to advance to the playoffs when a Albert Rusnak’s late goal gave Real Salt Lake a 1-0 defeat of Sporting Kansas City.

The combined results left the Galaxy and RSL tied in the standings with 48 points, but Salt Lake will advance to the playoffs in the first tiebreaker – most wins. The top seven teams advance to the playoffs and Galaxy didn’t fall below that line this season until Rusnak’s goal four minutes after the stoppage time.

LAFC, who needed a win in Colorado on Sunday to maintain their playoff hopes, also fell short, slumping 5-2. The five goals were the most allowed by LAFC in a game this season.

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Javier “Chicharito” Hernández single-handedly kept the Galaxy in the playoff race, twice erasing one-goal deficits in the second half.

Minnesota quickly took the advantage on goals from Adrien Hunou and Robin Lod. Sebastian Lletget halved the deficit in the first-half stopping time and the Galaxy almost shot again moments later, but goalkeeper Tyler Miller made a spectacular right-footed save on Hernández to preserve the advance from Minnesota.

Hernández didn’t miss his next chance, making a pass from Julian Araujo just inside the penalty area in the 51st minute. Araujo relented 11 minutes later, lifting his right leg to clear a cross for Hunou from a difficult angle at the baseline and redirect him through Bond and into the net.

Minutes after the game, the Galaxy announced that Araujo had been voted Team Defender of the Year.

Hernández briefly bailed out his teammate, scoring his 17th goal of the season in the 75th minute. And when Minnesota’s Franco Fragapane wrapped his 89th-minute penalty shot off the left post, it looked like that would be enough to bring the Galaxy to the playoffs. At around the same time, however, Rusnak scored in Kansas City, making Fragapane’s dud – and Galaxy’s draw – irrelevant.

LAFC (12-13-9) never recovered from their poor first half in Colorado, falling behind first half goals from Jonathan Lewis and Collen Warner.

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Lewis opened the scoring at the end of a breakaway, redirecting a Kellyn Acosta cross at close range in the 18th minute. As LAFC continued with the game, coach Bob Bradley sent out former MVP Carlos Vela in the 31st minute for his first minutes in the first half since mid-August. But it was the Rapids who scored the next goal two minutes later.

LAFC goaltender Jamal Blackman pulled a corner kick out of harm’s way, but the ball bounced straight off Warner, whose return shot hit Blackman again, then deflected into the net.

The two teams traded goals early in the second half with Lewis hitting a Diego Rubio feed from the center of the box for his second goal in the 53rd minute and Cristian Arango responding for LAFC two minutes later.

But that was as close as LAFC got it with Cole Bassett and Dominique Badji sandwiching a goal from LAFC’s Brian Rodríguez to explain the final score.

The result left LAFC with a losing record for the first time in franchise history and also left the team short of the playoffs for the first time.

Kevin Baxter writes about football and other stuff for the Los Angeles Times, where he worked for 24 years. He has covered five World Cups, three Olympics, six World Series and one Super Bowl and has contributed to three Pulitzer Prize-winning series at The Times and The Miami Herald. An essay he wrote in fifth grade was voted best in class. He has a cool dog.

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CM – Galaxy and LAFC fail to complete MLS Cup qualifiers – Cameroon Magazine