Los Angeles Galaxy squandered a golden opportunity to close the gap between them and the Western Conference playoff spots when they were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
In front of their home fans, Galaxy got off to a flying start when Chicharito collected a superb ball from Victor Vazquez to put it one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and he didn’t go wrong with his hard and low finish . through the goal.
It was Chicharito’s 200th club goal of his career and his 33rd for Galaxy after joining the club in 2020.
It would be the only goal of the first half, but a 67th-minute Sporting penalty changed the complexion of the competition, with Johnny Russell equalizing.
Visiting Kansas City would have liked their chances to escape with the three points after Felipe Hernandez gave them the lead in the 76th minute, but there would be another twist in the story as Galaxy received a penalty in the final minutes.
Chicharito stepped in from the spot and hid his high penalty in the top left corner of the goal, giving it 14 in 26 games this campaign, and he had a chance to make it 15 when there was another penalty given in the break time.
Trying to secure his hat-trick and the game, Chicharito went for the daring panenka penalty but was left red-faced as John Pulskamp in Sporting’s goal didn’t flinch, catching it easily.
Elsewhere in California, Los Angeles FC had a much easier time in their 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake to cement their position atop the Western Conference standings.
After a scoreless first half, LAFC dominated after the break, with Ryan Hollingshead finding the back of the net in the 49th minute and Cristian Arango doubling the advantage in the 68th.
Carlos Vela also missed a penalty for the home side in stoppage time, but his side were good value for the win, producing an expected 3.16 goals against just 0.29 for Salt Lake.
The victory puts LAFC nine points ahead of the chasing pack in the West, while at the other end of the standings, the Houston Dynamo were relegated to the bottom after a 2-1 loss to the Sounders. from Seattle.
It was Houston who struck first, Daniel Steres breaking the deadlock in the 26th minute, and that score would hold until Nouhou Tolo equalized in the 59th.
A missed penalty from Nicolas Lodeiro in the 75th minute appeared to be Seattle’s lost chance to secure all three points in front of their home fans, but less than a minute later a terrific cross from Tolo found Fredy Montero at the back post the head in the winner.
With Houston losing again, the San Jose Earthquakes took the opportunity to lose last place with a 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, courtesy of goals from Jeremy Ebobisse and Jamiro Monteiro in the first half.
Despite holding just 35% of possession and finishing with 0.36 expected goals, New England Revolution handed their fans an emphatic 3-0 victory at home to New York, with Jon Bell, Noel Buck , 17, and Thomas McNamara providing the scores.
In the highest-scoring game of the day, CF Montreal won 4-3 despite two goals from Toronto’s Lorenzo Insigne.
The Portland Timbers took advantage of two penalties to beat Atlanta United 2-1, and DC United played the only 0-0 draw of the day against the Colorado Rapids, Christian Benteke missing a penalty for DC.