CARSON (AP) — Teen forward Jose Villarreal and rookie Gyasi Zardes scored goals, and the Los Angeles Galaxy rallied Saturday to beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1.
Villarreal, 19, poked home Omar Gonzalez’s header from a free kick in the 29th minute to level the score — a goal that was initially waved off as offside — and Zardes, 21, scored the winner in the 57th minute.
The Galaxy (10-8-3), who started the game in sixth place in the Western Conference, vaulted past Vancouver (9-6-5), FC Dallas and Colorado into third. Los Angeles was without both of its designated players — Robbie Keane strained a hip flexor last week, and Landon Donovan is with the U.S. national team at the CONCACAF Gold Cup — and winger Robbie Rogers, who has a right hamstring injury.
Camilo scored his MLS-best 13th goal of the season in the 19th minute for the Whitecaps, who were outshot, 22-4, and created just two solid decent chances.
“We conceded a goal in the first 20 minutes, didn’t make it easy on ourselves,” Los Angeles coach Bruce Arena said. “However, we hung in there … and I think the team played pretty solid throughout the night. Not exactly where we need to be, but I think we have learned our lesson, hopefully, from the previous games, because we’ve given away a lot of points at the end of games this year.”
The Galaxy have conceded 15 goals from the 76th minute on this season, dropping 10 points in the process.
Zardes tracked down a long ball from left back Todd Dunivant on the left byline, pushed it past Whitecaps defender Brad Rusin, and beat goalkeeper Brad Knighton at the near post on the winning strike.
Camilo scored his ninth goal in eight games, racing alone into Los Angeles’ box after Russell Teibert nodded Lee Young-Pyo’s sharp cross from the right flank behind the Galaxy backline.
The Galaxy answered 10 minutes later. Gonzalez headed a Juninho free kick into the goalmouth, it just cleared forward Zardes’ head and Villarreal, almost on the goal line, poked it home. Linesman Jeremy Hanson raised his flag — Villarreal would have been offside had Zardes touched the ball — but referee Chris Penso overruled the call and granted the goal after a discussion with Hanson.
Arena called it “an excellent decision by the officiating crew. We thought that Gyasi didn’t touch the ball, and to be able to communicate that and get it right was obviously a big play in the game.”
Hector Jimenez came close to scoring twice in the opening minutes, but his header was cleared off the goal line by Rusin in the sixth minute and his dipping shot from outside the box hit the crossbar in the ninth.
Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini had to make just one tough stop, a leg save on Kenny Miller from close range in the 73rd minute.
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