For the second time in a week, the Galaxy overcame a two goal deficit to come away with a draw to stay in the MLS Western Conference playoff picture.
Two late goals from Dejan Joveljic and Michael Barrios completed the Galaxy’s come back from a 2-score deficit, with a 3-3 draw on the road against Austin FC on a Sunday night that turned into an early Monday morning after the match was delayed by three hours due to a thunderstorm.
“Guys were loading up in the tunnel to head out for the start of the game at regular time, and, actually, subs were already out there. Then they called everyone back,” Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney said afterwards. “Three games in a week and still hot and humid, and the delay. We weren’t as collective and active defensively as we had been in the last game.”
The latest comeback by the Galaxy (8-11-10) follows a 4-3 victory over Minnesota United just four days prior, but keeps the team in 13th place and one point behind Austin in the standings.
As the clock approached midnight in Texas, Alexander Ring scored to give Austin a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute of the match, receiving an assist from Emiliano Rigoni.
Galaxy captain Riqui Puig would equalize the score for the Galaxy after scoring his seventh goal of the season from a penalty kick in the second minute of stoppage time.
Puig was battling an injury he suffered early in the game, according to Vanney.
“It just so happens the first tackle of the game Riqui [Puig] is down, and now he’s struggling through good chunks of the game,” Vanney said. “We weren’t really worried about further injury, it was more just how comfortable he was or wasn’t on the field trying to move around.”
However, Ethan Finlay responded four minutes later, giving Austin a 2-1 lead at halftime, with Jon Gallagher providing the assist. Austin extended their lead to two goals in the 75th minute when Rigoni, assisted by Daniel Pereira.
Diego Fagúndez, who started in his first game back in Austin since being traded to the Galaxy last month, was unable to find the back of the net after 70 minutes of action.
After the Galaxy fell behind by 2 goals and Puig was hindered due to injury, Vanney had to adjust.
“As the second half started, I saw that [Puig] was struggling a little bit. I had a plan in my mind, I was going to bring on two forwards.” Vanney said. “See if he could slip those guys in or get one of them in behind to get a goal.”
Vanney’s plan put points on the board.
LA narrowed the gap in the 89th minute as Joveljic scored, receiving a pass from Billy Sharp to make the score 3-2. Barrios then leveled the score at 3 with an assist from Jonathan Pérez in the fourth minute of extra time.
“Anything is possible in this league when you have belief and you play with a lot of heart,” Galaxy midfielder Mark Delgado said. “This is MLS. Things will happen right?
Next, the Galaxy will return home to host the Portland Timbers, who have won in their last three outings, Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park.