THE LA GALAXY recovered from an early deficit with two goals in four minutes against the Vancouver Whitecaps to advance in the MLS play-offs.
It took some 70 minutes, but eventually the Galaxy found a way to break the Whitecaps’ defensive block at the Home Depot Center with Mike Magee and Landon Donovan scoring after Darren Mattocks’ opener in a 2-1 win.
The reigning MLS Cup champions now advance to the Western Conference semi-final to play California rivals the San Jose Earthquakes.
Vancouver had won only one game in 10 heading into the play-offs but looked like pulling off an upset against the Galaxy.
In only the fourth minute, Matt Watson exploited Sean Franklin’s absence due to injury down the flank before centreing for Mattocks, who opened up his body to prod the ball in off the post.
From then on it was all Galaxy. Los Angeles finished with 73 percent of the possession in the first half and registered 13 shots to Vancouver’s three in that time.
Right after Vancouver nearly caught LA on the break, David Beckham laid off a short corner to Juninho, who in turn found Magee to volley expertly into the top corner for the equaliser on 69 minutes. Two minutes later, Martin Bonjour, having spent only seconds on the field as a substitute, shoved Donovan over in the box.
The referee awarded the penalty and Donovan duly stepped up to make the Galaxy’s dominance pay from the spot.