SAN DIEGO – The LA Galaxy II handed Landon Donovan the first loss of his head coaching career as a second-half finish by Jesus Vazquez earned the visitors a 1-0 win against San Diego Loyal SC at Torero Stadium for Los Dos’ second win of the season.
Looking to rebound from defeat last time out, Los Dos opened brightly as Jorge Hernandez forced a diving save from SD Loyal goalkeeper Jon Kempin with a drive from 25 yards that was pegged for the left corner. A minute later, San Diego got a chance of its own after a turnover in midfield allowed Francis Atuahene to get out on a breakaway, but his finish was lashed well off target.
Hernandez forced another good save from Kempin in the 13th minute as the SD Loyal goalkeeper tipped his central effort over the crossbar, and the Galaxy II continued to press for the opening goal as a corner kick fell to Vazquez, who produced a low finish that flashed across the face of goal and just wide of the left post.
Vazquez came up big at the other end for the Galaxy II after a turnover in their own half, charging back to make a sliding challenge as Atuahene was primed to shoot at the top of the penalty area, but Kempin remained the busier of the two goalkeepers as Isaac Bawa’s shot off a half-cleared corner kick took a big hop of the turf and fell nicely for Vazquez, who headed toward the bottom-right corner and forced another stretching save from Kempin.
The best chance of the half, however, fell to San Diego as Atuahene created a chance off a fortunate redirection on a pass forward out of the SD Loyal defense. Atuahene squared up to his marker and beat him to the top of the penalty area but sent his shot off the left post and saw it carom away to safety.
Big chances proved harder to come by in the second half, but in the 69th minute Kempin again came up with an excellent save as Adrian Vera found space on the right side, cut onto his left foot and curled a shot to the far post that Kempin just got a fingertip to and turned wide of the post.
There was nothing Kempin could do three minutes later, however, as Vazquez’s presence in the area on set pieces paid off. A short corner to the top-left corner of the penalty area was delivered into the back post by Ivan Gutierrez where Augustine Williams was waiting to head back across goa, allowing Vazquez to slide in and finish to put the visitors ahead.
SD Loyal got a late chance at an equalizer when it was awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area in stoppage time, but Charlie Adams’ free kick went over the crossbar and from there the Galaxy II were able to see out their second road win of the season.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Jesus Vazquez, LA Galaxy II – The center back was a threat all night from set pieces and finally got his reward with 18 minutes to go while defensively recording four clearances, three interceptions and 10 recoveries.