Chicharito goal lifts Galaxy over LAFC in ‘El Trafico’ derby


Los Angeles (AFP) – Javier Hernandez scored one goal and set up another Saturday to lift the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles FC in the Southern California “El Trafico” derby.

The Galaxy seized a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute as former Manchester United striker “Chicharito” curled a right-footed shot past LAFC keeper Pablo Sisniega.

Hernandez played a key role in what would prove the game-winner in the 79th, collecting a low cross from second-half substitute Cameron Dunbar and passing across the goal for a charging dos Santos to fire home.

For Mexico international dos Santos it was a first goal since an October 2019 MLS Cup playoff match against Minnesota United.

LAFC had equalized in the 62nd minute through Diego Rossi. LAFC saw a golden opportunity come to nothing in the 32nd when Galaxy keeper Jonathan Bond denied back-to-back attempts from Rossie and Latif Blessing.

Elsewhere, Argentinian Zelarayan fired home a curling direct free kick and Columbus Crew pressured DC United into two second-half own goals in a 3-1 victory in Ohio.

Reigning MLS Cup champions Columbus hadn’t scored a goal so far this season until Zelarayan’s spectacular effort in the 20th minute, his free kick sailing over the wall and into the corner of the DC United goal.

The 28-year-old continued the strong form that saw him named Most Valuable Player of the MLS Cup final last season.

In the CONCACAF Champions League action he had scored one goal and set up another in the first leg of the quarter-finals against Mexican outfit Monterrey.

However, he missed the return leg due to accumulation of yellow cards.

“Happy with the result,” he said of the Crew’s first MLS win of the season after two goalless draws. “We needed a win at home. Very happy to convert my first league goal of the season and hopefully we can continue on this path.”

Columbus sealed the win after DC United own goals — from France’s Frederic Brillant in the 63rd minute and Mexican Tony Alfaro in the 83rd.

Norwegian Ola Kamara had scored in the 82nd minute for DC United.

Philadelphia Union, the only MLS team to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals, beat Chicago Fire 2-0 with goals from Jamaican Cory Burke in the 51st minute and Norwegian Jakob Glesnes in the 60th.

The weekend’s action continues on Sunday when former Manchester United teammates Phil Neville and Gabriel Heinze will be adversaries as MLS head coaches for the first time.

Neville’s Inter Miami will host Atlanta, where Heinze took over as head coach shortly before Neville took the helm in Florida.

The two overlapped for just one season at Manchester United, in 2004-05.

Miami is expected to be buoyed by the return of Gonzalo and Federico Higuain, the Argentinian brothers who missed Miami’s scoreless draw at Nashville last week after the death of their mother.

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