Dramatic road win in LA "season-changer" for Union
CARSON, Ca. -- It looked like the Union were going home with one point and a road draw, which would have been a good result.
But then, just before the final whistle, Michael Farfan left it late … extremely late.
Farfan’s magical 95th minute goal, set up by a terrific back heel into space by Lionard Pajoy, capped off a dramatic Union victory on the home turf of the defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy.
“I think any team that talks about being successful and talks about how they’re going to compete, and battles hard, and all of those things -- they need this kind of result,” said Union interim manager John Hackworth. “We didn’t play our best. But for the guys in that locker room to fight as hard as we fought, to dig down deep when clearly we didn’t have the best legs -- it was our fourth game in 12 days -- they said ‘we’ve got to make a play.' That was fantastic. I can’t say enough about the guys in the locker room. I’m so proud of them. But those kinds of games can define a team. And certainly I think this game was a big one for us.”
It was the franchise’s first-ever win against LA. Philadelphia were 0-3-1 against the Galaxy coming into the game.
“I think it was just an all around team effort,” said Union left back Gabriel Farfan. “We had patience. Obviously we didn’t want to concede that goal after going 1-0 up, but I think we did what we had to do over the 90 minutes to get the result. I think we’re going to gain momentum from this. Los Angeles is a great team and they need the points just as much as we do, and we knew they were going to fight. I think we wanted it a bit more today.”
“Massive win,” added midfielder Michael Lahoud. “We were talking, going into this game, saying that we’re going to have to pick up points in places that most teams wouldn’t expect to pick up points. Or, that we would have to pick up three points instead of one. We did just that. We played strictly for the result.”
Philadelphia was out-shot and out-possessed by LA. But a string of fantastic early saves from Zac MacMath kept the score level before Jack McInerney’s 46th minute back heel goal, a tremendous finish set up by Michael Farfan.
“I definitely think this kind of win is a season-changer for us,” said McInerney. “We’ve been playing well lately and we have a couple of home games (coming up). If we can string some wins along we’ll be right back in the playoff race.”
The victory wraps up a two-game road trip. The Union return home with three out of six possible points after playing last year’s Eastern and Western Conference champions, just four days apart.
“We were disappointed in Houston and knew we had to come here and grind one out and try to get a result,” said Hackworth. “That really was what we had to do, and we found a way to do that tonight. It’s a big win for us, but it’s one of those wins that all good teams need to really have.”
WATCH: Full match highlights