Move back on top of standings with second win of the season
USL PRO Game Report
Monday, April 7, 2014
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy II (2-0-1) picked up the second victory of their inaugural USL PRO campaign and remained undefeated after three games with a 4-2 victory against OKC Energy FC (1-1-0) on Monday night at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium.
After falling behind early on a goal by Oklahoma City’s Peabo Doue in the eighth minute, Galaxy II scored three times in the first half as Laurent Courtois, Chandler Hoffman and Daniel Steres found the back of the net for LA. Energy FC tried to rally in the second half as substitute Pete Caringi tallied early on, but the equalizer eluded Oklahoma City and Aleksandar Dokovic sealed the deal for the Galaxy II with a stoppage-time goal.
The match started poorly for Curt Onalfo’s side as a defensive miscue by Los Dos right back Oscar Sorto resulted in a goal from Doue, who slid home a finish at the far post off a cross by Kyle Greig. The lead lasted just five minutes, however, as a free kick by Courtois from well outside the penalty area sailed through the Oklahoma City defense and into the net for the French player-coach’s first goal for the USL PRO side.
LA took the lead in the 35th minute when a Jack McBean cross looped into the penalty area and found a leaping Hoffman, who headed home past a helpless Jon Kempin. Los Dos found the eventual winner four minutes later when French defensive midfielder Andre Auras, who enjoyed a stellar debut, found defender Steres for the center back’s second goal of the campaign from a corner kick on the right.
The Galaxy almost grabbed a fourth goal before halftime as McBean took advantage of a defensive error, but the forward fired his shot well over the net when one-on-one with the keeper.
Oklahoma City needed just 14 minutes in the second stanza to cut LA’s lead in half as Caringi smashed a cross by Adda Djeziri past goalkeeper Brian Rowe. Energized by their goal, Energy FC dominated possession in the second half as they placed Onalfo’s side on the back foot. The pressure only intensified in the closing moments, but the Galaxy held firm as the defense made a number of last-ditch stops that included a timely block by center back Kofi Opare on an Energy FC shot from inside the penalty area.
The pressure from the visitors led the opportunity to counter-attack into space for the Galaxy II, which was exploited in stoppage time when Raul Mendiola launched a pinpoint through ball to a waiting Dokovic on the right side of the penalty area. Dokovic slotted home an easy finish from close range to seal the three points.
Los Dos return to action next week when they play the fourth match of their five-game homestand against Sacramento Republic FC on Sunday at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium. Energy FC, meanwhile, will return to the west coast next weekend as they visit Arizona United SC on Saturday night looking to bounce back from their first loss of the young season.