Galaxy Catches Fire in Second Half

Giovani dos Santos got the equalizer for the Galaxy. (Photo by Duane Barker.)

Giovani dos Santos got the equalizer for the Galaxy. (Photo by Duane Barker).

By Tim Peterson

(Carson) – The Galaxy scored twice in the second half to erase a 2-0 halftime deficit and earn a 2-2 tie with Chicago Saturday night before 24, 256 at StubHub Center.

A header by Daniel Steres in the 56th minute cut the lead to 2-1 and in the 65th Giovani dos Santos deflected a shot into net to get LA even.

Jelle Van Damme took down Nemanja Nikolic early in the first half to set up a David Accam penalty kick. Accam hit the first one but it was called back for encroachment. He then buried the next one in the 13th minute for a 1-0 Fire lead.

A minute later Gyasi Zardes got off a shot for the Galaxy but booted it high over the crossbar. Chicago came right back down the field and Nikolic got open on the right side in the 16th minute and punched it by Galaxy keeper Brian Rowe who was caught out of position and just like that it was 2-0 Fire.

The Galaxy had a couple of good opportunities later in the half. In the 29th minute a cross was broken up right in front of the net. In the 31st Bradley Diallo got the ball to Romain Alessandrini who was blanketed by Fire defenders but no penalty call was made.

Jermaine Jones went down after being hit in the head off a shot by Chicago’s Joao Meira in the 38th minute. He was down for about two minutes before slowly rising to his feet. He left the game in the 43rd minute and was replaced by Emmanuel Boateng.

Ashley Cole had a solid defensive effort for LA. (Photo by (Duane Barker.)

Ashley Cole had a solid defensive effort for LA. (Photo by (Duane Barker).

Five minutes of additional time added in the first half. The Galaxy down 2-0 at the break. LA had zero shots in the first half.

Dave Romney replaced Van Damme late in the first half.

The Galaxy finally broke the drought in the 56th minute as Steres headed in a cross from Alessendrini. It was the Galaxy’s first goal since the 83rd minute of the Orlando City match on April 15.

The Galaxy came up with the equalizer in the 65th minute when dos Santos deflected an attempt by Romney into the net to tie it at two.

Chicago nearly took the lead in the 76th minute when Luis Solignac hit the post and it bounced away from Rowe. In the 79th Zardes hit the side of the net off of a cross by Diallo.

Four minutes of additional time added but when neither team scored, they walked off off the field in a 2-2 tie.

“We became a team tonight. That’s the Galaxy team that you’ll see moving forward,” said Galaxy coach Curt Onalfo. “I think it was a galvanizing moment for our group. It was a pretty darn good second half. I told them at halftime that if we got just one goal the second one would come and we’d have an opportunity to turn this into possibly three points. But at a minimum we’re walking out of here with one and that’s what we did.”

Onalfo wasn’t pleased with his defense in the first half and it showed when he pulled Van Damme for Romney near the end of the half.

“I expect our players to be right from minute one. And I’m the leader of the team and if guys aren’t then I have to make substitutions to get our group to where it needs to be. I brought in Romney and he did a solid job. We didn’t concede anymore and he created a lot of chances,” Onalfo added.

The Galaxy moved to a record of 2-5-2 with the tie but their winless steak reached four. The Fire is now 3-3-3.

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