The fifth seeded Los Angeles Galaxy 2 are heading to the USL Championship after defeating Oklahoma City Energy FC 2-1.
Los Dos demonstrated why they have been the best road team in the Western Conference this season. They started on the front foot. Oklahoma started slow and a defensive error gifted the visitors the opening goal. In the 7th minute, a free kick was sent into the Energy FC’s box. Defender Cyprian Hedrick attempted to head the ball clear over his goal. Instead he sent the ball the opposite way goalie Evan Newton was moving and, similar to a basketball alley oop, set up Galaxy 2 forward Ariel Lassiter to score. For the second playoff game in a row, Oklahoma City, the team with the best home record during the regular season, were behind within the opening 8 minutes of the game. Things did not get better for them either. Los Angeles were a step ahead for the opening half. The Galaxy 2 kept pushing forward. Lassiter hit the post in the 13th minute. Then, they won a free kick in the 23rd minute. Andre Auras stepped up to score LA’s second from 26 yards out. Even though Los Dos was better in the run of play, they scored both goals from set pieces. Oklahoma could not get anything going forward and were fortunate to enter halftime only down two goals.
Oklahoma City came out of halftime a different team. They stepped up their speed of play and signaled their intent early in the half. In the 65th minute, the Energy FC got on the board with a set piece goal from a corner kick. Defender Coady Andrews directed Sebastian Dalgaard’s cross past Galaxy 2 keeper Diop. Los Dos’s confidence was rocked. The Energy FC bombarded the Los Angeles goal. Within the next fifteen minutes, Oklahoma took six shots and pinned LA in their half. However, they could not find an equalizer. Substitutions and fouls broke up the rhythm of the game. Los Angeles successfully managed the last ten minutes to hold on to their lead.
Despite their second half effort, Oklahoma City could not overcome their slow start to the match. Los Angeles Galaxy 2 continue to be the best road team in the Western Conference. They now get to test their away record against the best regular season team in the USL, Rochester Rhinos, in the Championship match on Friday October 16th at 7:30 p.m. ET.