Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 D.C. United: Landon Donovan Brace Saves LA At The Death

D.C. United started out strong, but their unity did not last long as the home team rallied back.
CARSON, Calif. -- It was an exciting night in cool Southern California where 20,094 strong witnessed the Galaxy rally back from a goal down versus D.C. United for the 2-1 win. Andy Najar got the opening goal in the 60th minute, but all it did was fuel LA for a comeback. Superstar Landon Donovan equalized it in the 81st minute and then scored again as LA took the lead five minutes later.

Real Salt Lake had temporarily taken the number one spot in Major League Soccer's table thanks to a 1-0 win over Chicago earlier on Saturday. It was a must-win game for the LA club to retake the lead, and that was exactly what they did. The Galaxy is now back on top of the standings.

First Half

The match started off rather slowly, but opened up as both sides were unable to maintain a proper footing on the ball. But after 20 minutes into this chess match, the shots and scoring chances started to present themselves, but not for too long.

Multiple fouls in the midfield and a few offside calls on Edson Buddle were all that happened on the pitch in the first third.

In the 39th minute, Omar Gonzales of the home side was booked for a reckless tackle outside their own penalty area. The set piece was blocked by the wall, but the 6'5 youngster will miss next week’s clash against the visiting New York Red Bulls

In the 43rd minute of play D.C. almost had their shot at gold. Pablo Hernandez sent a sizzler that went through the LA goalkeeper's fingers at the goal line. Donovan Ricketts was able to get his paddles on it, but unable to hold on to it as it snuck past him. The keeper sprawled and caught the ball right at the goal line.

Heavy passing and poor execution of play plagued the Galaxy's efforts in the first half.

Second Half

The sub-par passing continued onto the second half, so Galaxy coach Bruce Arena made the first tactical move. David Beckham entered the game at minute 52 for forward Jovan Kiroski. Becks was placed in the midfield and Donovan moved up to to play forward.

Unfortunately for them, however, D.C. got the the opening goal.

In the 60th minute D.C. United was on the attack. Andy Najar led the charge and passed the ball to the left, but that assault was stuffed by the defense. Ricketts came off his line and stopped the shot. He didn't control the rebound, however. Always the opportunist, Najar was there to pick up the scraps, hitting the free ball and give the visitors the opening goal.

Trailing at home finally awoke the beast within the Galaxy. United's goal seemed to have lit a fire beneath them. At that point, LA started to press harder. It was a move that paid off in the 81st minute.

From deep downtown Gonzalez outletted a pass to the front. A failed D.C. clearance put the ball right in front of Donovan, who charged between two defenders. The forward juked and jived past a diving Troy Perkins and easily put it away.

Minutes later, the Donovan Show continued. Tristan Bowen charged from the right flank and crossed it into the six to an unmarked Donovan, who headed it in for the go-ahead goal.

LA tried to muster the insurance goal, but it was not needed as LA won the match, leaving their home fans relieved.

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