Toronto, Canada. Drew Moor’s second goal for Toronto FC this season, ended their goal-less drought, gave them the lead in the 76th minute against a visiting LA Galaxy which ended 1-0 in front of 30,025 fans eager to put an end to a 4-game winless streak. The Galaxy are now entering a five-game winless streak while Toronto can breathe easy with the additional 3 points.
A clever kick from Benoit Cheyrou flicked by Eriq Zavaleta to Moor was enough to beat Brian Rowe for the lone goal of the night.
Prior to tonight’s match, after an international break with U.S. Open Cup action in between, both teams were in a 4-game winless streak. Not only were LA without Robbie Keane (Euros) and Gyasi Zardes (Copa America), but due to injury, Steven Gerrard, leading scorer Giovani dos Santos and Robbie Rogers were all out of the lineup for the Galaxy. Arena went with a conservative 4-4-2 in response to the numerous absences and a backline anchored by Ashley Cole, Jelle Van Damme, Daniel Steres (who has now played in every Galaxy MLS match) and AJ DeLaGarza. Similarly, his midfield with Baggio Husidic and Nigel de Jong anticipated a fight from Toronto’s goal-scoring leader, Sebastian Giovinco.
“It was a pretty even game; neither team on the night was particularly good. It was a hard fought game, they took their chance and we didn’t take ours. It is as simple as that.” Bruce Arena, LA Galaxy Head Coach
In spite of a few close looks towards Brian Rowe’s goal, Giovinco was unable to notch a goal in the first half in spite of having the only shot on target in the 18th minute, a right-footed shot from outside the box assisted by Jordan Hamilton. Rowe was able to reach it and save it in the center of the goal with a simple catch. LA’s best efforts in the first half came from Sebastian Lletget, first in the 19th minute where his left-footed shot from the right side of the box misses just wide of the goal to the left. His next effort came in the 27th minute but was easily saved in the bottom right corner. Both assists were from Jeff Larentowicz.
The second half was a different story with Toronto FC taking the lead in their attack but had a limber Brian Rowe ready to handle almost all their shots on-goal, including a stunning long-range screamer in the 51st minute, and a Giovinco left-footed shot from the left side of the box in the 60th minute.
But, all LA’s efforts at keeping Giovinco from a goal were for naught in the 76th minute, when a ball played over the top by Cheyrou, flicked on by Zavaleta, reached Moor who head it straight to the near post, while Ashley Cole looked to the referee for an offside call.
“We’ve got to do better at the end of games. Once you get to that mark, that 70 minute mark, you’re thinking we got to get out of here with at least a point. I thought we played well enough to get three, we had chances to get three, and we limited them the entire night except that one chance they had on goal.” AJ DeLaGarza, LA Galaxy Defender
In spite of their efforts with high crosses aimed at substitute Jose Villareal, LA were unable to answer with a goal and head back home without a crucial road point.
The LA Galaxy are now 5-3-6 on the year and just 1-3-3 on the road. They’ve collected less than 30% of their possible road points (6 of 21 points).
And the road for LA doesn’t get any easier. They head home to face Western Conference leaders, the Colorado Rapids next Wednesday and will then travel to take on the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, June 25th at Stanford Stadium.