Fabian Espindola’s two solid goals in the first half ended L.A. Galaxy’s undefeated seven game streak and gave RSL a solid second place in the Western Conference.
The game started out bad for RSL as L.A. tirelessly sought for a goal. After a great block by Tony Beltran, defender for RSL, and a few key saves by RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando, L.A. was finally able to complete a goal in the 17th minute by striker Robbie Keane.
“They really put us under,” RSL Coach Jason Kreis said. “They scored in the 17th minute and we were under all of those 17 minutes. I was really interested to see what our response would be.”
As Kreis waited in anticipation, RSL forward Espindola, after recieving the ball from RSL player Alvaro Saborio, answered L.A. in the 25th minute with a powerful shot to the left of the box bringing the game to a tie.
Only three minutes later, Espindola once again scored a goal by heading the ball 15 yards into the box, putting RSL ahead 2-1.
For the rest of the game RSL played tough defense as they struggled to stop L.A. from tying the game.
In the last few minutes, RSL once again regained momentum and began taking shots but could not complete as L.A.’s defense fought to give the Galaxy a chance to stay in the game.
Even though L.A. ended the game with 20 shots on goal, RSl’s 12 shots on goal were enough to end the game 2-1 against the Galaxy.
“It was a good 90-minute performance,” Kyle Beckerman, captain of RSL, said. “We didn’t panic when we gave up the first goal. We didn’t give them a ton of chances, which was an improvement from the last couple of games.”
The determination to not give up and keep fighting has helped RSL become one of the leaders in the Western Conference. It may be what they need to secure a championship.
“The good thing is we came back from a 1-0 hole.” Espindola said. “[Teams that do that are] the kind of teams that can win the championship. When you’re losing and you can come back, you’re actually showing that you can go far in this league.”
The team’s performance in controlling the game satisfied Kreis.
“I think our guys handled it in the exact right way,” Kreis said. “They stayed calmed and realized that we would still get chances. I think it really changed the flow of the game.”
The team will have a week’s rest as they prepare to play against fourth place Seattle on Oct. 17 at the CenturyLink stadium.