Result yields opposing reactions from Los Angeles and Toronto.
CARSON, CA -- Twice the L.A. Galaxy took the lead Saturday night, and twice a former player responded. A pair of second-half goals by Alan Gordon, including the equalizer in the 94th minute, forced Los Angeles to share the spoils with visiting Toronto F.C.
Gordon spent five seasons in Los Angeles, scoring 14 goals for the Galaxy before being traded to Chivas USA last year and then Toronto. It was his first game back after missing the last six games due to an adductor strain.
Wearing a wry smile after the game, Gordon tried to downplay the significance of his goals coming at the expense of his former club.
“It’s just another game. It’s nothing special, it’s just a game in the league. I scored two goals, it was a good point,” Gordon said.
But Gordon eventually admitted that his 94th minute equalizer, in which he volleyed a shot into the top right corner of the Galaxy net, meant a little extra. “It was just special because I don’t score goals like that. So to get it against my former team, of course it was special.”
“Today it shows that if he’s fit, he’s a very good striker,” Toronto F.C. head coach Aron Winter said.
Winter added that he was disappointed to concede the opening goal to the Galaxy’s Chris Birchall in just the second minute, because he believed his team enjoyed the run of play, especially in the second half.
“We only get one point, even though we were the better team,” Winter said. “We created a lot of opportunities.”
The late goals conceded and resulting lost points continues a season-long theme for the Galaxy, who have had difficulty putting teams away after gaining early leads.
“We have to manage the game at the end of the game, it’s quite simple,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “We worked so hard to get that second goal, and to have the three points and to lose our concentration in the end is very disappointing.”
Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant said that home games against teams such as Toronto and last week’s opponent, D.C. United, were tricky. The Galaxy ending up taking away draws from the games, despite the fact that both opponents currently reside in the cellar of the Eastern Conference standings.
“On paper, we should win, but these are always the toughest games,” Dunivant said. “They are coming at you with nothing to lose and they can defend and fight… Tonight again, we let two points slip away and it comes back to bite you in the end.”
“We played better than we played last week, but we didn’t finish the game off,” Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said, while noting that Gordon scored “probably one of the best goals he’s ever scored.”
Gordon, who lifted his team with an energetic display after replacing injured teammate Jacob Peterson in the first half, attributed the goals to attitude as much as anything else after a poor opening half.
“We needed to come out with some pride, some heart and some fight. It’s something that we haven’t been doing a lot of lately and we really did it today,” Gordon said. “In the second half we played 45 good minutes. Now we have to build on that and put together 90 minutes, get some points and move up the table.”
“We showed in the second half, the way we battled… when we are working like a team, and want to help each other, maybe we can play very good football and it showed, “TFC coach Aron Winter said. “Now the most important thing that we have to do is that every game we bring the same focus like in the second half.”Follow Goal.com on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!