MLS: Gabriel Pec’s 90th-minute goal lifts Galaxy over Minnesota United


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Gabriel Pec scored in the 90th minute to complete his first career MLS brace and lift the LA Galaxy to a 2-1 victory over Minnesota United on Sunday night in Carson, Calif.

Pec’s eighth and ninth goals of the season helped the Galaxy (12-4-7, 43 points) rebound after a 2-1 loss to Los Angeles FC on Thursday night. The Galaxy are tied with LAFC and Real Salt Lake in points atop the Western Conference.

Riqui Puig provided the secondary assist on both goals to bring his team-leading assist total to 10.

Substitute Teemu Pukki pulled Minnesota (8-9-5, 29 points) even in the second half in his return from a knee injury. Pukki was making his first appearance since June 1.

But the Loons saw their skid reach six matches. They now find themselves in 10th place in the Western Conference and outside the potential MLS Cup Playoff field.

Puig began the match-winning sequence by splaying a pass wide right to substitute Mauricio Cuevas, whose first touch actually provided the benefit of evading a Minnesota defender.

With his second touch, Cuevas drove the ball across the box for Pec to deliver a one-time finish from close range.

Pec’s first tally in the 25th minute was a more expansive version of the same goal, with Puig spraying a ball from the center of the park to Miki Yamane down the right flank.

Yamane replied by driving a low cross into the path of Pec, who put a low, first-touch finish past Minnesota United goalkeeper Alec Smir.

Minnesota thought it had leveled the match only six minutes later following a rapidly worked counterattack, but Bongokuhle Hlongwane was ruled offside on the buildup following a video review.

Pukki pulled Minnesota even at 1-1 in the 73rd minute, as he was allowed time and space after receiving a pass at the attacking end of the center circle.

The veteran dribbled down the middle of the field all the way to the penalty arc before a defender closed in, then curled a well-placed shot into the bottom left corner of the net beyond goalkeeper John McCarthy’s dive.

Minnesota’s Franco Fragapane had an excellent chance to put the visitors in front after an LA turnover, but McCarthy reacted perfectly with a diving save to his left in the 85th minute.

–Field Level Media


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