The LA Galaxy celebrate a goal against the Seattle Sounders in the 2016 Quarterfinals. Photo: LA Galaxy
Sebastian Lletget is becoming a late-game legend in this edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Lletget tallied twice in the final five minutes as the Los Angeles Galaxy came from behind to defeat the Seattle Sounders, 4-2, in a quarterfinal round game at the Track and Field stadium at StubHub Center.
“Sebastian hasn’t had a regular shift in a while, so it’s good for him. He did a good job,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said.
Lletget started but did not score until the 85th minute and 88th minute, respectively, for the Galaxy, which won its first game vs. Sounders (MLS) in Open Cup play. With the win L.A. advances the semifinals for the first time since 2006.
“Now on to the semis, and it’s the first time we’ve done that. It’s the first time I can win something and I’m really excited,” Lletget said.
Suspect passing in the Galaxy defense led to the game’s first goal.
Daniel Steres put Leonardo in bad spot with a hospital back pass which Leonardo failed to clear, passing the ball almost directly to an on-rushing Michael Farfan, who played two touches before chipping past Clement Diop.
“They made a mistake in the back and I capitalized on it,” Farfan said. “It was a nice way to start but we can’t finish games like that.”
Galaxy produced a pair of scoring chances before Baggio Husidic put a ball into the box with pace in the 17th minute, finding Alan Gordon at the back post for one-touch finish.
“It was great! Right spot at the right time, buried it,” Gordon said. “We needed it.”
Herculez Gomez produced an improbable goal in the 59th minute to give Sounders a 2-1 lead, beating Diop near post.
“It’s not really a positive,” Gomez said about his eighth career Open Cup goal. “It was all or nothing. There are no moral victories.”
Arena waited to make changes until after the 70th minute, but brought in Giovani Dos Santos and Gyasi Zardes hoping for an immediate impact.
Dos Santos came on for Gordon and did not take long to make his presence felt, getting the Galaxy even at 2-2 in the 77th minute with a goal off a turnover in the back from the Sounders.
“I thought once we had the lead, 2-1, it was just a matter of getting through the rest of the game,” Schmid said. “We gave up a goal — a soft goal — and from there the flood gates opened.”
L.A., which lost to Seattle in the Open Cup quarterfinals in 2010 and ’11, asserted its will in the final 10 minutes, peppering the Sounders goal until finally taking a lead in the 85th minute on Lletget’s third goal of the tournament.
“(Dos Santos and Zardes) brought energy, and they’re just clever,” Lletget said.
It’s back line in shambles, Lletget added his fourth goal of the tournament three minutes later to seal the win, L.A.’s 31st all-time in Open Cup play.
Lletget had two late goals in Galaxy’s 5-1 win over Santa Ana (Calif.) La Maquina (UPSL) in a 4th Round game.
“Crazy, really crazy,” Lletget said. “Till the whistle blows.”
Galaxy has entered the Open Cup every year since 1999, and have a 31-15-0 all-time record.