May 20, 2019
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By Victor Munoz, Sports Editor

A bad referee call and a series of final choices on the offensive side were minutes away from ruining Galaxy’s winning streak but a late winner by defender Diego Polenta gave Galaxy a win over their biggest test yet, Houston Dynamo.

After yesterday night’s 2-1 victory at Dignity Health Sports Park, the Galaxy increase their winning streak to five games and have executed the home advantage to perfection winning five games out of five at home. The five-game win streak is their largest since 2014 when they last won the MLS Championship. The Galaxy have jumped to second place in the Western Conference.

“It was a difficult match against an undefeated team,” Polenta said.

Polenta said at times they had control of the game and at times they didn’t but “the important thing is that we won.”

In the 15th minute, for the second time this season, Galaxy’s Designated Player Romain Alessandrini was forced to leave the match early due to a knee injury.

In the 29th minute of play, forward Zlatan Ibrahimović was brought down in the penalty area and the Galaxy was awarded a penalty, who Ibra himself cashed in to open the mark and give his team a 1-0 lead.

Five minutes into the second half, controversy arose. Dynamo forward Alberth Elis was brought down in the border of the penalty box and the official signaled a penalty kick. After showing the replay multiple times in the stadium, the fans shouted in disagreement as they felt it was not the right call.

As the official marked the doubtful penalty, a loud chant echoed throughout the stadium.

“Check the VAR, check the VAR.”

“Hell no, No era penal (it was not a penalty),” said communications major Christian Gomez. “It was clearly outside the box.”

But after two minutes of waiting for any video assistant referee signal, the official did not check the replay himself neither did he retract from his original call. The Dynamo penalty call stood.

From the penalty spot, Elis equalized the match for Houston in the 53rd minute to make it 1-1.

LA Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said forgetting if the play was rightfully called or not, he was happy the way his players responded to the equalizer as they fought for a hard-earned victory.

And after a series of missed touches near the opponent’s area and plays that could have used a different turnout (like a shot instead of a pass or vice versa), in the 88-minute Galaxy defender Diego Polenta latched onto the end of a cross and netted the game-winner for the Galaxy and it was all smiles after that.

On another note, two thumbs up for the MLS. One, the MLS is hosting an Earth Day weekend as all the clubs this weekend will wear a commemorative eco-friendly kit, which is made of recycled ocean plastic. And secondly, the special Olympic teams. Following yesterday’s MLS match, Houston’s Special Olympics Unified team when head to head with LA Galaxy’s Special Olympics Unified roster.

The match for the Unified teams is slightly different than a normal MLS match. The halves are only 25 minutes each and halftime is only a short five minutes.

The Galaxy Unified team got off to a hot start as they scored within the first minute of the game to make it 1-0. The hot start at the beginning of the whistle continued, as the Galaxy Unified team began the 2nd half in similar fashion, scoring within the first two minutes to make it 2-0.

The Dynamo Unified team netted a consolation goal in the final minute of regulation, with the game finishing 2-1 in favor of the Galaxy Unified team.

A victory for the first team and a victory for the Special Olympics Unified team, both winning by a score of 2-1.

Up next for the LA Galaxy: they will travel to Minnesota to face Minnesota United on Wednesday April 24. Minnesota United currently sit sixth in the west while Galaxy are in second place. The two team played each other earlier in the season at Dignity Health Sports Park, where the Galaxy won by a score of 3-2.

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