Galaxy collapse against Vancouver, 2-1, ends Leagues Cup run early

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The LA Galaxy allowed two second half goals during the team’s 2-1 defeat against the Vancouver Whitecaps, ending the Galaxy’s time in the Leagues Cup.

CARSON, Cali. — The Galaxy’s run in the inaugural League’s Cup ended almost as quickly as it started.

Despite being the better team for a majority of the game, the Galaxy collapsed in the second half as they fell to the Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-1, marking the end of LA’s time in the tournament.

Vancouver moves on to the round of 32, but head coach Vanni Sartini wasn’t fully convinced about the result.

“The win is a steal. I think the real result should have been a tie and then deciding in penalties who was going to go through,” Sartini said afterwards.

LA dominated possession, nearly doubled their touches inside Vancouver’s box and had more shots, but it still wasn’t enough to hold the early lead the Galaxy built Sunday night at Dignity Health Sports Park.

“I thought for 70-plus minutes we were in great control of the game,” Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney said after the loss.

Galaxy captain Riqui Puig opened the scoring with a goal off his right foot in the 16th, assisted by Lucas Calegari, to put LA ahead, 1-0.

Vancouver would amass chances in the second half to no avail, but the tides didn’t begin to turn until a crucial mistake by Calegari led to an own goal, which evened the score at 1.

In the closing minutes of regulation, Vanney adjusted by bringing on Kevin Leerdam and Efrain Alvarez, two attacking-minded players that could’ve been a spark plug to a team in desperate need of one. 

Until the clock struck midnight on the Galaxy’s time in the League’s Cup.

About 10 minutes after Vancouver’s first goal, Brian White tapped in the second goal of the night for the Whitecaps to put the game on ice for the visitors. 

The Galaxy will reset its sights on to making a push for the MLS playoffs, but Vanney said tonight’s game was a slice of what the team had experienced leading up to this tournament.

“I feel like it was a microcosm of some of the games we’ve had through the course of the season,” Vanney said.

Following the team’s elimination, the Galaxy aren’t scheduled to return to the pitch until August 20 when the team returns to MLS play against Real Salt Lake at DHSP at 7:30 p.m.