After surrendering a 1-0 lead early in the second half, Hartford Athletic scored two late goals to secure three points on the road. It’s the second time in as many games that Hartford have scored twice at the 90th-minute mark and beyond.
Tonight’s match played slowly through the first 20 minutes, with neither side creating dangerous attacking chances. Athletic had strong control of the game, holding 67% of the possession and completing twice as many passes as their opponent. The Green and Blue also won three corners, but failed to failed to challenge LA keeper Eric López.
Hartford’s stiff formation and dedication to their game plan came to fruition in the 27th minute, when a back pass to defender Liam Doyle was broken up by Joel Johnson. The ball fell to Luka Prpa, who played a one-time through pass to Ariel Martinez, Hartford’s only attacker in the offensive half. The striker was able to outrun defender Jalen Neal, leaving only keeper Eric Lopez to beat. Martínez attempted a cutback as he entered the box and was brought down by the retreating Neal, resulting in a red card to the defender and a penalty for the Green and Blue. Martínez would take and convert the penalty into the bottom left corner of the net, giving Hartford a 1-0 lead.
Galaxy II would take five more shots before the end of the half, with one on target off of a Preston Judd free kick. The Green and Blue would head into the locker room up a goal.
Despite being down a man after the massive penalty decision, Galaxy II started the second half confident and caught Hartford on their heels in the 54th minute. Los Dos forced a turnover in Hartford’s third and Preston Judd sent a shot towards goal, which was blocked by Yannik Oettl. The rebound fell to the penalty spot, where Cameron Dunbar sent the ball into the net for his 9th USL goal of the year.
The first 20 minutes of the second half were dictated by the home side, who controlled with 60% possession, 19 final third entries, and three shots on target.
In the 75th minute, Athletic had a clean shot on target when substitute Andre Lewis sent a through ball forward to fellow substitute Mitchell Curry. As Curry was closed down by a defender, he cut the ball back to Lewis, who found himself in space from 16 yards out, but failed to put his shot on target. The chance was missed, but the interplay between these two foreshadowed what was soon to come for Hartford.
In the 90th minute, the Green and Blue strung together a series of passes, each one pushing Galaxy II’s back line further towards their own goal. With his back to the goal, Mitchell Curry played back a pass for Andre Lewis, who one-timed his curling shot into the upper right corner of the net. Curry’s first assist of the year, he teed up the goal scoring opportunity for Lewis and Hartford had a 2-1 lead heading into stoppage time. Curry wasn’t finished just yet, as he followed his first assist with his first goal just two minutes later. Danny Barrera won the ball in his own half and played a beautiful ball to Curry, who drove the ball forward and took his chance from the upper right corner of the box. His well-struck shot squeezed between two defenders and bounced past Lopez at the near post, securing a 3-1 victory for the visitors.
Hartford, who played a man up for most of the match, were out-possessed and allowed Galaxy II to make 293 passes in the their half, with 120 coming in the final third. However, the Hartford’s ability to absorb their opponent’s attack proved to be key, as the Green and Blue won 13 tackles and made 11 interceptions to prevent dangerous attacks in the buildup. Hartford Athletic return home next Saturday to face FC Tulsa in Tab Ramos’ debut as Head Coach.
Shots (On-Target): LA 22 (9) Hartford 13 (5)
Corners: LA 5 Hartford 5
Fouls: LA 8 Hartford 12
Offsides: LA 0 Hartford 5
Possession: LA 54.9% Hartford 45.1%
Passing Accuracy: LA 89.8% Hartford 85.9%
Saves: LA 2 Hartford 8
29′ – Martínez
54′ – Dunbar
90′ – Lewis (Curry)
90+2:20′ – Curry (Barrera)
20′ – Johnson (Yellow)
27′ – Neal (Red)
32′ – Brewitt (Yellow)
36′ – Cabral (Yellow)
55′ – Judd (Yellow)
62′ – Prpa (Yellow)
63′ – González (Yellow)
77′ – Jadama (Yellow)
HARTFORD ATHLETIC STARTING LINEUP
13 (GK) Yannik Oettl, 3 (DF) Logan Gdula, 23 (DF) Modou Jadama, 4 (DF) Tulu, 2 (DF) Younes Boudadi, 11 m(MF) Luka Prpa, 5 (MF) Tom Brewitt (Curry, 74′); 21 (FW) Jeciel Cedeño (Lewis, 59′); 8 (MF) Peter-Lee Vassell (Barrera, 59′); 30 (FW) Joel Johnson (Dally, 72′); 6 (FW) Ariel Martínez (JC Obregón Jr., 59′)
LA GALAXY II STARTING LINEUP
12 (GK) Eric López, 30 (DF) Joshua Drack, 74 (DF) Liam Doyle, 24 (DF) Jalen Neal, 47 (FW) Owen Lambe, 27 (MF) Carlos Harvey, 43 (MF) Adam Saldaña (Campbell, 69′); 45 (MF) Adrián González (Davila, 78′); 49 (FW) Rémi Cabral (Salazar,62′); 31 (FW) Preston Judd, 25 (FW) Cameron Dunbar (Picazo, 78′)