The LA Galaxy hosted their first playoff game since 2016 versus Nashville in front of a crowd of 22,280 at the Dignity Health Sports Park. They came a long way from starting the season out poorly adding midfielders Ricky Puig and Gastone Brugman to solidify the midfield and help Chicharito get more opportunities and goals. Nashville is led by attacker who German Hany Mukhtar who scored 23 goals this year and the team relies mostly on their great defense. LA had lost only one of the last 11 games and that was to Vancouver on the road coming into the playoffs so they had confidence and the home field advantage.
LA dominated the first half with many chances but almost gave up a goal when goalie Jonathan Bond kicking the ball to the visitors on a giveaway as he had to make a sprawling save to keep the game scoreless at halftime. The Galaxy stayed aggressive in the second half and looked sharp including a counter attack with Puig dribbling down the middle and passing to Chicharito who scored in the upper top corner. However after video replay, it showed that it was a foul on the galaxy so the goal denied but a few minutes later, a beautiful cross came in and Aruju headed in to make it 1-0.
Another counterattack in the 78th minute but a fantastic save by the Nashville goalie kept it at 1-0. Nashville had a chance on a corner kick in an 80th minute with a open scoring chance but no goal. The Galaxy defense battled all night and was able to hold on to advance to play their cross town rivals LAFC on the road the next week. More at www.lagalaxy.com