MLS: Gabriel Pec, Galaxy cool off Real Salt Lake

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Gabriel Pec scored in the 74th minute and the LA Galaxy earned a 1-0 victory in Sandy, Utah, on Saturday night to end Real Salt Lake’s 15-match unbeaten streak.

Pec’s sixth goal of the year also marked his 10th goal contribution in his past nine matches after a relatively slow start to his first MLS season. It came as the Galaxy (10-3-7, 37 points) played their third straight match without injured midfielder Riqui Puig, but LA has gone 3-0-0 during that stretch.

Salt Lake (10-3-7, 37 points) saw MLS leading goal scorer Cristian Arango exit the match before halftime with an apparent head injury.

Without Arango, who has 16 goals on the season, Real Salt Lake missed a chance to extend their club-record unbeaten streak. They were held scoreless for the second time in three matches following a nine-match stretch in which they scored 25 times.

While RSL dominated the possession battle and had more shots (15-8), LA got all the offense it needed from Pec, who finally put the visitors in front when he finished off one of the match’s most incisive sequences.

Diego Fagundez played the ball forward to Dejan Joveljic, who then slotted a first-touch pass to his left into the path of Pec’s run down the flank.

Pec darted onto the ball and sent a low finish past goalkeeper Zac MacMath, who dove to try and make a save but came up empty.

Arango exited the match in the 21st minute after a scary looking collision with Galaxy defender Martin Caceres, with Arango reportedly requiring stitches after the incident.

Caceres also departed the match, with both players leaving via the league’s concussion protocol.

In the second half, MacMath saved a Joseph Paintsil shot at point-blank range in the 51st minute. Moments later, Andres Gomez struck the crossbar on the other end of the field for the hosts on a first-time volley attempt.

Fagundez then forced MacMath into a comfortable stop on a free kick before Mark Delgado fired wide left following a feed from Fagundez in transition.

But Fagundez’s next key pass would ultimately help free Pec for his match-winning strike.

–Field Level Media

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