Galaxy knocks off Real Salt Lake to remain in chase for playoff spot – Press Enterprise

CARSON >> The Galaxy’s playoff chances are still alive thanks to Sunday’s complete effort against Real Salt Lake.

It had been a difficult week with the firing of coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto and staff, Thursday. Assistant coach Dominic Kinnear was installed as interim coach for the second time in the last three years.

Whatever Kinnear told them, it worked as the Galaxy looked balanced and compact from the outset of the game.

Giancarlo Gonzalez (18th minute) and Cristian Pavon (65th) provided the goals and the team dug in their heels on defense and recorded a hard-fought 2-1 win over RSL.

With MLS using points per game to decide the playoff positioning due to some teams, including the Galaxy, not being able to reach the complete 23-game regular season, the win moves the Galaxy points per game average to 1.05, leaving the club in fourth place in a four-team race for the final two remaining playoff spots in the Western Conference.

The Galaxy had the perfect first half to erase its peformance from last Wednesday’s game against the Portland Timbers.

Gonzalez opened the scoring rising for a header off a free kick in the 18th minute. For the remainder of the first half, the Galaxy, from man-to-man, went about their job doing the extra work, something that has been missing for long stretches this season.

In the 51st minute, Gonzalez, again came up with a big moment, racing back to clear a shot by Corey Baird off of the line.

With the game sitting at 1-0, Pavon worked some of his magic, beating three RSL defenders and sliding a perfectly placed ball by a goalkeeper Andrew Putna for a 2-0 lead.

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The Galaxy will return to action Wednesday at home against the Seattle Sounders and then conclude the regular season Sunday in Portland against the Vancouver Whitecaps.