MLS Playoffs: Role reversal for Galaxy

The LA Galaxy won its second game in five days at home when it beat the Colorado Rapids, 1-0, in the first leg of their Western Conference semifinal series.

Often, it is Giovani dos Santos with the setup, but he watched as Belgian center back Jelle Van Damme nutmegged Colorado's Michael Azira and crossed the ball for Gio to head home for the lone goal in the second half.

Keeper Tim Howard kept the Rapids in the game with a strong second half, but he was helpless on dos Santos' downward header that was helped into the goal by Rapids defender Axel Sjoberg's deflection.

“It was very difficult," Gio said. "I think they have the best defensive team in the league. We created a lot of chances, and in the end I think we deserved the win and we take the advantage.”

The Rapids came into the game with MLS's best defense, having allowed only 32 goals in 34 games, and largely contained the Galaxy, which started with the same team that beat Real Salt Lake, 3-1, on Wednesday.

“They did what they’ve done all year," said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena. "They played collectively as a group. They’re hard to break down. Most games they’re in are 1-0. It’s how the games look.”

After a wide-open game against RSL, Arena said his players were prepared for a tight match against Colorado.

“We played well," he said. "Our guys were pretty focused. I think we understood what this game was going to look like today and what it’s going to look like next week. We had a good collective effort as well. Our backline played well.”

Oct. 30 in Carson, Calif.
LA Galaxy 1 Colorado 0.
LA: Giovani dos Santos (Jelle Van Damme) 55
LA Galaxy -- Rowe; Rogers, Steres, Van Damme, Cole; Husidic (Larentowicz 82), Lletget; Donovan, dos Santos (Keane 82), Boateng (Magee 70); Gordon
Colorado -- Howard; Watts, Sjoberg, Burch, Miller; Gashi, Powers (Jones 46), Azira, Cronin, Badji; Doyle (Hairston 70)
Yellow Cards: LA Galaxy -- Van Damme 45, Cole 67; Colorado -- Badji 12, Watts 50, Jones 60.
Att.: 24,487.

1 comment about "MLS Playoffs: Role reversal for Galaxy".
  1. John Polis, October 31, 2016 at 9:39 a.m.

    I'm curious if anyone else saw the L.A. goal as I did. From the replay angle I watched, it didn't look as if Dos Santos header would go in. Then Axel deflects into the upper opposite corner. Looked like a total own goal to me. Anyone else?

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