Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Galaxy and LAFC fail to qualify for MLS Cup playoffs

Galaktika didn’t lose a game, but they lost a playoff spot on Sunday, rallying to an insane 3-3 draw with Minnesota United, but fell short of a postseason spot when Albert Rusnac’s late goal gave Real Salt Lake City the score. 1-0 win Sporting Kansas City.

The combined results for Galaxy and RSL are tied in the standings with 48 points, but Salt Lake City will enter the postseason in the first tiebreaker – most wins. The seven best teams advance to the playoffs, and Galaktika did not fall below this line this season before Rusnak’s goal in the fourth minute of added time.

Galaxy finished 13-12-9 and Real Salt 14-14-6.

The LAFC, which needed a win in Colorado on Sunday to maintain its playoff hopes, also fell short, losing 5-2. Those five goals were the most goals scored by LAFC in a game this season.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez single-handedly kept Galaktika on the hunt for the playoffs, having doubled the one-goal deficit in the second half.

Minnesota took advantage of an early lead on goals from Adrien Huno and Robin Laud. Sebastian Lletgett cut the gap in half in the first half and a moment later Galaktika almost leveled the score, but goalkeeper Tyler Miller made an impressive right save against Hernandez, keeping Minnesota’s lead.

Hernandez did not miss his next chance with a one-off pass to Julian Araujo from outside the penalty area in the 51st minute. After 11 minutes, Araujo gave him back, lifting his right leg and knocking out a cross to Huna at a difficult angle at the endline, and redirecting him to the net by Bond.

A few minutes after the game, Galaxy announced that Araujo had been named the team’s defender of the year.

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Hernandez briefly bailed out his teammate by scoring his 17th goal of the season in the 75th minute. And when Minnesota player Franco Fragapane shot past the left post in the 89th minute, it seemed that this would be enough for Galaktika to enter the postseason. However, at about the same time Rusnak scored against Kansas City, so Fragapane’s miss and Galaktika’s draw did not matter.

LAFC (12-13-9) never recovered from a bad first half in Colorado, trailing first-half goals from Jonathan Lewis and Collen Warner.

Lewis opened the scoring at the end of the break, redirecting Kellin Acosta’s cross from close range in the 18th minute. Coach Bob Bradley sent former MVP Carlos Vela to LAFC in the 31st minute in his first half minute since mid-August. But two minutes later the Rapids scored the next goal.

LAFC goalkeeper Jamal Blackman attempted a corner, but the ball bounced straight at Warner, whose return hit Blackman again and then deflected him into the net.

Both teams exchanged goals early in the second half: Lewis kicked Diego Rubio out of the center with a second goal in the 53rd minute, while Christian Arango answered for LAFC two minutes later.

But it was as close as the LAFC when Cole Bassett and Dominic Badji scored around one goal from LAFC’s Brian Rodriguez to reflect the final score.

The result left LAFC with a losing record for the first time in franchise history and left the team short of the postseason for the first time.

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