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Wild finish leaves Galaxy and RSL tied, 2-2
by Ridge Mahoney, May 7th, 2009 7AM



[MLS] Precious few games pack more action and drama into stoppage time than the rest of the match, but by such a remarkable scenario Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles wound up tied, 2-2, Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Two penalty kicks and three goals occurred after the end of regulation, marking only the second time in league history so many goals had been scored in stoppage time. Mike Magee's goal for the Galaxy in the 94th minute ended an incredible sequence during which Landon Donovan tied the game, 1-1, with a penalty kick whistled for a handball by Will Johnson, who himself broke the tie with a spot kick after Bryan Jordan was called for a foul on Fabian Espindola.

Johnson, inadvertently, also played a role on the final goal. A deflected shot looped to Magee on the left side of the penalty area, and he somehow slipped the ball between the feet of keeper Chris Seitz from a nearly impossible angle as Johnson and his teammates appealed. Johnson, though, stationed on the opposite side of the box, had failed to push up and replays indicated Magee clearly not offside.

The rapid-fire ending hadn't seemed possible during the preceding 90 minutes. RSL took a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute when Robbie Findley stooped at the near post to direct a Clint Mathis corner kick past Galaxy keeper Donovan Ricketts. He nearly scored again early in the second half but headed a Chris Wingert cross narrowly wide.

RSL players protested fiercely when referee Michael Kennedy called a handball on Johnson, who scuffed a clearance and moved his right arm as the ball popped up and struck it. Donovan hit a rather poor penalty to Seitz's left and the ball snuck into the net off the keeper's arm to tie the game in the 91st minute.

It was the Galaxy's turn to howl a minute later. Mathis swung a ball from the right flank to the far post and Espindola went down under some mild pressure, and perhaps a jersey grab, from Jordan. Johnson thumped home his penalty to give RSL what turned out to be a brief lead instead of three points.

A hard collision left RSL defender Nat Borchers stretched out on the grass for several minutes midway through the second half and he was replaced by David Horst.

The Galaxy has tied six of its eight games (1-1-6), while RSL (3-3-2) wound up deadlocked for the second time this season. Next up are the top two teams in the Western Conference; RSL travels west to play Chivas USA on Saturday; Los Angeles is headed to Seattle for a Sunday high-noon showdown with the Sounders.

May 6 in Sandy, Utah
Real Salt Lake 2, Los Angeles 2

Goals: Findley (Mathis) 34, Johnson (pen.) 92+; Donovan (pen.) 91+, Magee 94+.
Los Angeles -- Ricketts, Franklin, Berhalter, Gonzalez, Dunivant, Klein (Jordan, 61), Kovalenko, Miglioranzi (Magee, 76), Lewis (Gordon, 69), Buddle, Donovan.
Real Salt Lake -- Seitz, Beltran, Wingert, Borchers (Horst 69), Russell, Williams (Grabavoy, 77), Beckerman, Mathis, Johnson, Findley, Movsisyan (Espindola 56).
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Att.: 16,155.


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