Juninho scored in the second minute of stoppage time to give the Galaxy the victory and stay alive in CONCACAF Champions League play. The Galaxy would be all but mathematically eliminated with a loss at home against Morelia, and a draw would give them an extremely slim chance to advance, the Galaxy needed the win.
The last gasp goal gave the Galaxy the much needed three points and some momentum going into their important league clash with Real Salt Lake on Saturdays.
They seemed well on their way to victory when Mike Magee one-timed a pass from Todd Dunivant into the back of the net in the 20th minute. Morelia then went on the attack for the remaining part of the half. The Galaxy seemed content to let Morelia attack their goal, but did not break until the 60th minute.
A through pass left Bryan Jordan chasing the ball, he slid to make sure the attacker beyond him couldn’t get the ball, but his clearance fell into the path of Rafa Marquez Lugo who hit the ball off Josh Saunders then off A.J. De la Garza and into the net. It was a very sloppy goal for Morelia, but it was all they needed to get back in the game.
After the Morelia goal, the game opened up dramatically. End to end action followed, and Juninho gave the Galaxy the winner after Landon Donovan’s corner kick was flicked on by Chad Barrett where Juninho volleyed it into the net. It was a dramatic comeback victory for the Galaxy, who desperately needed the win.
Damian Manso had an opportunity to put the game away in the second half. He received the ball inside the box after a deflection left him wide open. He took a half-volley shot that hit the cross bar flush, then deflected off of Josh Saunders hand on its way out.
Coming into the 5th game of the group stage, Morelia and Alajuelense were tied atop the group at nine points with the Galaxy sitting on six. Alajuelense plays group cellar dwellers CD Motagua tomorrow night at home looking to go back atop the group. The two teams that advance from the group will not be known until after match day six. The Galaxy need a road victory over CD Motagua, but even then might still not advance depending on goal differential.
Mike Magee was taken off at halftime, possibly due to injury. Magee, the first half goal scorer, has been on fire recently with two goals against Vancouver. Magee has been an integral part of the Galaxy attack this season, he is the second leading scorer on the team.
David Beckham sat out the game with a yellow card suspension and Robbie Keane was out with an injury. Donovan Ricketts and Sean Franklin are still out with quad and knee injuries. Hector Jimenez came on in the second half. It was Jimenez’ first official game with the first team his only other action being in the midsummer friendlies against Manchester City and Real Madrid.
Next Match: 7:30 PM Oct 1 vs. Real Salt Lake
Next CCL Match: 7 PM Oct. 20 @ CD Motagua