CARSON, Calif. – Alejandro Alvarado Jr.’s first goal for the LA Galaxy II earned his side a 1-1 draw in second-half stoppage time against San Diego Loyal SC on Wednesday night at Dignity Health Sports Park. The result kept SD Loyal in second place in the Group B standings, but Los Dos remained a point behind with two games in hand as Alvarado’s late goal provided a potential pathway for the hosts to make their second consecutive playoff appearance.
Looking for a fourth consecutive victory, SD Loyal got out to the brighter start, but Los Dos had the first real looks on goal as Adrian Vera fired a shot that was saved by San Diego goalkeeper Austin Guerrero in the sixth minute and Jonathan Perez fired a shot that was tipped wide of the right post a few minutes later.
San Diego’s first serious chance came in the 20th minute as Miguel Berry controlled well at the top of the area to set up a chance to shoot but fired just wide of the right post. Alejandro Guido also sent a header off target as he got onto a cross by Jack Metcalf from the right at the back post, but four minutes before halftime the visitors got the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot as Charlie Adams was brought down in the area by Los Dos’ Jalen Neal. Rubio Rubin stepped up to the spot and shot low to the right corner to convert.
SD Loyal almost added a second in the final minute of the first half as Galaxy II goalkeeper Abraham Romero mishandled a ball near the top of the his penalty area, but after Morgan Hackworth laid a pass back to Berry his attempted chip over the retreating Romero and a covering defender went over the crossbar.
Los Dos went close to finding an equalizer just past the hour-mark as Augustine Williams tried to redirect a shot from Perez at close range, but his deflection was cleared away by San Diego’s Emrah Klimenta on the goal line. As the half progressed, though, San Diego began to firmly establish a grip on the rhythm of the game, putting together good spells of possession that helped thwart Los Dos’ hopes of a comeback.
San Diego was reduced to 10 men with a minute to go when Elijah Martin was sent off for his second yellow card of the game, however, and in the first minute of stoppage time Los Dos found an equalizer. After building play through the right channel, a blocked shot by Williams caromed to the right corner where Mauricio Cuevas produced a perfect back-post cross for Alvarado to head home, grabbing what could be a vital point in Los Dos’ playoff pursuit.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Mauricio Cuevas, LA Galaxy II – Cuevas provided the assist on Los Dos’ equalizer, had three key passes while completing 35 of 43 passes overall and won 9 of 13 duels and 5 of 5 tackles defensively.