A sold-out Fourth-Round match of the 2022 Lamar Hunt US Open cup would result in LA Galaxy dominating in possession and shots that led to their 3-2 victory over the host California United Strikers in Irvine, Calif.
“It very, very hard game, very tough game, they’re a very good team,” said Galaxy striker Dejan Joveljic who led the Galaxy with a pair of goals. “Of course, we won. I’m very happy because we’re in the next phase.”
At the start of the match, both teams began with a high level of intensity for play as the battle of possession was at hand. However, LA Galaxy would be the first in front of the goal post but would not finish the opportunity they had created.
While LA Galaxy gave strong offensive play against the CUSFC’s defense, it would still not be enough as they fall short of every set play.
After defending their post, they had the opportunity to make an offensive stride that ultimately worked in its favor.
In the 19th minute, a ball from CUSFC Anthony Edward López-Carillopass found its way through the center of the goalie box and into the feet of his teammate, Shinya Kadano, who was able to complete the shot and gain the lead early into the match.
Falling behind early in the half fueled the Galaxy and changed the pace of the game. LA began to add extra pressure to the Strikers’ backline using its speed on top to its advantage.
The game continued with the fast pace play but that would lead to a small scuffle where a foul would be made within the CUSFC’s goalie box. In the 45th minute, LA Galaxy’s Joveljić would make the penalty shot and end the half with the game tied at 1-1.
“I think that we should finish this game in the first half, we played too slow,” Joveljić said about his team’s early performance.
Beginning the second half with the game tied, the teams were both eager to be the first to change the score.
At the start of the whistle, the LA Galaxy continued to have an offensive hold over the CUSFC’s defense but just as the first half showed, CUSFCs held their ground. The fast pace play carried on from the first half and did not lighten up.
As most of the game went on with aggression from both teams, it wouldn’t be until the 72nd minute that a yellow card would finally be awarded. LA Galaxy Efran Alvarez would be given the card after fouling a CUSFC player with a push from behind.
However, this occurrence would not affect how LA Galaxy played, and a few minutes later, in the 80th minute, a pass from Alvarez from the far corner of the post to Owen Lambe would break the tie.
Lamb, who was signed to a short-term loan prior to the game, gave the Galaxy a 2-1 lead.
Just moments later, a penalty would be called again in the CUSFC goalie box leaving Joveljic against Cal United Jean Antoine yet again. He would lengthen the lead, 3-1 in the 83rd minute.
“I helped my team with my two goals. But Sacha helped me a lot because he gave me a shot at those penalties. He’s truly there,” Joveljić said.
With LA Galaxy leaving CUSFC behind on the scoreboard, it would give the team a boost of motivation as the final minutes of the game approached.
In the 88th minute, CUSFC’s Kevin Garcia-Lopez would navigate through traffic in the penalty area and receive a perfectly-timed pass and put the ball past Galaxy netminder Jonathan Klinsmann to cut the lead to one.
However, the match would end after just three minutes of stoppage time with the Galaxy LA Galaxy dominating 3-2 over CUSFC.
The next round draw for the US Open cup will be held on Thursday, April 12 at 8:30 p.m. ET.