Skip to content

Pozuelo scores winner as Toronto FC beats L.A. Galaxy in pre-season play

LOS ANGELES — Alejandro Pozuelo converted a penalty and rookie Ifunanyachi Achara scored for the third straight pre-season game to help Toronto FC defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 Saturday.

The Galaxy went down to 10 men in the 32nd minute at Dignity Health Sports Park when Aleksandar Katai was red-carded.

Toronto was awarded the decisive penalty when Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham took Jozy Altidore down. The penalty call survived video review and Pozuelo slotted the ball home in the 77th minute.

A wonder goal by Cristian Pavon gave L.A. the lead before Achara tied it up in first-half stoppage time.

Toronto took the Nigerian-born forward 25th overall in the first round of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. He helped Georgetown win the NCAA title in 2019.

Mexican forward Javier (Chicharito) Hernandez made his debut for the Galaxy after receiving his work visa earlier in the week.

The Galaxy went ahead in the 37th minute on Pavon's highlight-reel strike.

The Argentine forward beat several defenders running at goal and then hammered a right-footed shot into the top corner from some 25 yards out. The shot was so powerful that Pavon lost balance after hitting it.

Toronto 'keeper Quentin Westberg had to be sharp early in the second, using his hand to stop Hernandez from a Pavon setup.

An injury forced Galaxy defender Danilo Acosta off in the 50th minute.

Westberg started behind a backline of Auro Jr., Laurent Ciman, Omar Gonzalez and Justin Morrow. The midfield featured Liam Fraser, Tsubasa Endoh, Jacob Shaffelburg, Achara and Pozuelo with Altidore up front. Altidore started as captain.

Eriq Zavaleta, Ayo Akinola, Patrick Mullins and Griffin Dorsey came on in the second half.

Toronto was coming off a midweek 3-1 loss to Los Angeles FC. Prior to that, Toronto downed UC Irvine 2-0 and Colorado 4-0.

TFC's next pre-season game is Wednesday against Chicago Fire FC at UC Irvine. Toronto opens regular-season play Feb. 29 at the San Jose Earthquakes. 


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 15, 2020.

The Canadian Press

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks