Sporting KC’s Sensational Late Equalizing Goal Ends LA Galaxy Match in a Draw
As the pro soccer season continues into the fall weather, the games take on more meaning. The MLS is a long season, giving teams the chance to build their chemistry and strategy and show their power over the duration of a deep series.
Soccer news: It was an exciting match — and a wet night when Sporting KC hosted a crucial match against LA Galaxy.
The stadium had been sold out for days and the excitement in the heartland city was palpable.
This match, between LA Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City, had meaning for both the hosts and the visitors — and, the final result was more than just the test of two teams, it had a third influencer, the referee.
Zlatan and Russell score and David Bingham made eight saves leading to a draw in the drenching rain.
Fans loved seeing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and from the beginning of warm up to the last minutes of the game, soccer lovers were glued to the impressive 6’5″ forward who joined the Galaxy on March 23, 2018, with Targeted Allocation Money.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not disappoint and delivered the first goal of the match, his 21st goal of the season.
It was a simple goal scored in the 25th minute after a foul was called on SKC defender Matt Besler.
From the torrential rain, the seemingly endless series of player tussles and the Galaxy’s lone goal, the majority of the match had SKC fighting to equalize.
When the final whistle blew, Sporting KC had managed to extend their playoff streak and continue their unbeaten run vs. Galaxy.
The match had moments of intensity, especially when Galaxy center back Daniel Steres scored a goal which would have increased his team to a 2-0 lead. That was disallowed after the video review.
With 59.3% ball possession and 86% accuracy in passing, Peter Vermes’ team demonstrated a constant series of attempts to score but LA Galaxy’s keeper, David Bingham stopped the ball from reaching the back of the net.
“Unbelievable mentality from our players,” said Peter Vermes, Manager Sporting Kansas City.
It was the new fan favorite, SKC’s Johnny Russell who saved the day with a goal scored in the 83rd minute.
The prolific goal scorer from Scotland scored his ninth goal of the year and equalized the match.
Russell’s teammate, longtime SKC star player Graham Zusi almost lead the team to a victory with a shot a few minutes later in the 89th minute, but the shot went wide and hit the post.
Recap from Sporting KC:
Gasps of disbelief enveloped Children’s Mercy Park when Graham Zusi, Diego Rubio and Felipe Gutierrez exchanged passes in the box before the ball popped goalward, forcing Bingham into another acrobatic save. Seconds later, the Galaxy gloveman cast aside a deflected effort from Seth Sinovic to preserve his team’s advantage. READ MORE
Match Was Between LA Galaxy, Sporting KC and The Ref:
The referee Jair Marrufo‘s call in the first quarter overshadowed the match. While MLS news recap may have stated that the ‘penalty call ratcheted up the intensity of the match’, Vermes had other words for it.
Vermes called the referees performance unacceptable.
The contentious penalty kick call issued by Marrufo in the 23rd minute was over Sporting KC defender Matt Besler having allegedly tripped Galaxy forward Ola Kamara, which led to Kamara falling over Sporting ‘keeper Tim Melia.
“It’s obvious [to me] when you look at the replay that the correct decision was not made,” Besler said. “I feel bad for us, and for all of the fans that came out. It ruined the game.”
Displeased that the referee made the questionable call without looking at the replay to check the fast action, Vermes believes the standards of the league are above this.
“We expect high standards from our players and the league,” said Vermes who is currently the longest-tenured head coach in MLS.
“We were playing against the other team and unfortunately, against the referees on the field.”
Was the referee biased?
According to Kansas City Star, “Sporting KC has won only two of its past 16 matches with Marrufo serving as the center referee, according to statistics gathered from Transfer Markt. Marrufo has handed out 29 cards to Sporting KC over that time frame. He’s given 14 to its opponents. No team in Major League Soccer has a worse record with Marrufo on the field since 2011 than Sporting KC – (and) Sporting KC is one of only three MLS teams to make the playoffs in all eight of those seasons.”
- 25′ — LA — Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PK) |
- 83′ — SKC — Johnny Russell |