CARSON, Calif. – Augustine Williams scored twice, including a late game-winner from the penalty spot, as the LA Galaxy II moved into second place in Group B with a 3-2 victory against Las Vegas Lights FC at Dignity Health Sports Park. Los Dos had trailed by a pair of goals after the opening half-hour, but rallied to overtake San Diego Loyal SC with their ninth win of the season.
Las Vegas opened the game brightly as both Junior Sandoval and Quincy Amarikwa both tested Los Dos goalkeeper Abraham Romero, who was sharp to deny both opportunities. The visitors took the lead in the 22nd minute, however, as Amarikwa slid a good pass through for Seth Moses, who fired home a finish into the right side of the net after slipping in behind the Galaxy II back line.
Amarikwa was at the center of Las Vegas’ second goal six minutes later as Sandoval won possession on the right and found the veteran forward just beyond the center circle. Amarikwa quickly shifted play on to Yamikani Chester as he broke forward from midfield, and Chester finished the move clinically with a low finish from the top of the penalty area.
Los Dos began their fightback eight minutes before halftime, though, as the side built through pressure in its defensive third to find Omar Ontiveros on the right side. Driving forward from his own half, Ontiveros wove into the right channel past his marker and into space before picking out a perfect low cross that found Williams at the back post for a close-range finish to halve the deficit.
The Galaxy II almost pulled level with the final chance of the first half as a deep cross from the left found Sebastian Nava in the right side of the penalty area. Nava pulled a pass back to Ivan Gutierrez, but his finish went just high and wide of the left post to leave Las Vegas on top at the break.
Los Dos threatened again just before the hour-mark as Jonathan Perez outpaced his defender on the right to get into a good position to shoot from the right side of the penalty area, only for Lights FC goalkeeper Edward Delgado to make a fine save to parry the effort away.
Perez’s speed would come into play again on the Galaxy II’s equalizer in the 62nd minute, though, as Mauricio Cuevas first won possession in his own half and then sent a 50-yard ball over the top that Perez was able to reach before his marker in the right channel. Perez held off the pressure from behind and finish calmly into the right corner of the net.
Las Vegas had a big chance to regain the lead with 15 minutes to go as Moses wove past a pair of Galaxy II players in midfield before delivering a pass to Rashawn Dally in the left side of the penalty area for a shot that Romero deflected wide for a corner.
With seven minutes to go, however, Los Dos was given the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot as Williams got to a ball forward by Galaxy II defender Jalen Neal first and was brought down by Delgado in the area. Williams stepped up and fired his shot into the bottom-right corner of the net to give the hosts their first lead of the night.
Las Vegas tried to find a way to equalizer in the closing minutes, and Chester had a low shot from beyond the penalty area that was saved by Romero in stoppage time. Los Dos held firm, however, to take all three points and provide the race for the playoffs in Group B with another intriguing twist.
USLChampionship. Com Man of the Match
Augustine Williams, LA Galaxy II - Williams scored twice, had six shots overall and completed 17 of 22 passes to lead Los Dos to an impressive comeback victory to boost their playoff chances.