Photo courtesy Christian Inoferio / Rio Grande Valley FC
EDINBURG, Texas – Three minutes from time the LA Galaxy II hit a dramatic equalizer to steal a 1-1 draw with Rio Grande Valley FC at H-E-B Park on Wednesday night. Galaxy II and Mexico U17 international midfielder Efrain Alvarez showed his danger in the 12th minute when he swung a ball out of the reach of the defense to the far post, only to just miss his teammate at the far post. But the Toros responded and opened the scoring just two minutes later as Aldo Quintanilla received the ball and hit a powerful shot, bouncing it right in front of Galaxy II goalkeeper Wade Hamilton, which appeared to catch him out and found the back of the net to put the hosts ahead on their first shot on target of the match. After going two matches without a goal, the Toros looked more dangerous than they have all month, but the finishing was just not good enough to add a second as it remained a one-goal lead at the break. Los Dos came out from the break determined to equalize, but against a strong defense, it was hard to get shots away. Galaxy II Ethan Zubak should have got the equalizer for the visitors in the 65th minute when he rounded the Toros goalkeeper Nico Corti but then failed to take advantage, holding the ball too long and letting the Toros defense off the hook. But just when it seemed that RGVFC would hold onto all three points, Los Dos defender Frank Lopez rounded Corti and hit an impressive strike from a tight angle which snuck inside the post for an 87th-minute equalizer that would force the hosts to settle for a draw.
14’ – RGV – Aldo Quintanilla (Todd Wharton)
87’ – LA – Frank Lopez (Jean Engola)
Three Things That Matter:
1. RGVFC continued to have a successful defense, having conceded just two goals in its last five matches the Toros defense has been one of the strongest in the league in recent weeks. That is especially true at home where they are undefeated, but a lapse in concentration at the back proved vital and yet again the Toros were forced to settle for a draw its seventh of the season. With perhaps the most difficult road trip in the league next week with Real Monarchs SLC, the Toros will need to find a way to pick up its first road victory of the season.
2. The Galaxy II had scored 12 goals in three matches coming into this match but had conceded 14 in that same span. That meant that there was always some confidence for the visitors going forward that eventually they would hit the target, making it five straight matches with a goal. Lopez's late finish earned another point on the road for Los Dos as they handed the Toros a sixth home draw this season.
3. LA had nine corners in the match but failed to execute from its opportunities as it failed to record a shot on target from any of them. That continues a worrying trend for the Galaxy II, which has sent 36 corners into the penalty area this season, the fourth highest in the league, and has yet to find success. When on the road you have to take your chances, which is something Los Dos have failed to do so far this season, now seven matches winless on the road.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Aldo Quintanilla, Rio Grande Valley FC – Quintanilla scored the goal that put his side in front, and in a game of few chances the attacking midfielder created two of them. With attacking opportunities hard to come by Quintanilla was the star making a big impact.
Rio Grande Valley FC vs. Real Monarchs SLC – June 4, 9p.m. ET, Zions Bank Stadium
LA Galaxy II vs. Las Vegas Lights FC – May 26, 10:30p.m. ET, StubHub Center