LA Galaxy tie Real Salt Lake 2-2 in penultimate match

Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
The LA Galaxy were eliminated from MLS Playoffs but had the opportunity to play a role in LAFC’s fate in the top four of the standings.

CARSON ,Calif. — LA Galaxy hosted Real Salt Lake on Saturday, playing to a 2-2 draw and extending their unbeaten home run to nine matches at Dignity Park. While Galaxy were eliminated from MLS Playoffs contention last weekend, they had the opportunity to play a role in LAFC’s fate in the top four of the standings which come hand-in-hand with home advantage.

Had RSL won, LAFC would not be clinching their guaranteed top-four spot. The tie left RSL one point behind Houston Dynamo who are currently in fourth place in the Western Conference. Dejan Joveljić and Douglas Costa scored goals for the Galaxy, who are winless in their past five matches. Los Angeles’ 21-year-old Novak Micovic made his debut in goal and had four saves on the night.

Los Angeles scored early in the seventh minute as Joveljic struck his sixth goal of the season. Costa’s goal made it 2-0 in the 34th minute. Joveljic sent a touch pass to Costa, who booted a left-footed shot into the right corner of the net for his third goal of the season.

But RSL got on the board in the first minute of first-half stoppage time as Anderson Julio’s right-footed shot deflected off a Galaxy defender. Then in the 76th minute, Diego Luna buried his fourth goal of the season tying the match with the final goal of the match. LA have not qualified for the MLS Playoffs in five of the last seven seasons. Their humbling 13th place position in the Western Conference is testimony to their poor season start.  

“To be honest, this season was I can say bad. Also, we had a lot of injured players – I think five players from the first eleven, so that was very unlucky but hopefully next season we are going to be healthy and we are going to make playoffs.” Dejan Joveljić conceded. “I was always confident when I get the chance I try to make something but sometimes it goes on your side and sometimes not. This season wasn’t like the previous one but hopefully next one will be better.”

The Galaxy are winless in their last five matches but hope to finish out their regular season with a win at home next Saturday when they host FC Dallas on Decision Day.

“This is the last game of the season and people may say it doesn’t matter if they win or not,” Maya Yoshida explained in his post-game assessment. “But I want to win because I want to show my respect to the fans, my family who help me every single day and also the staff helping the club, the people and players everyday so this is part of my pride.”