Galaxy shut out Austin FC for first win of season

ByReuters ESPN logo
Thursday, October 12, 2023

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez scored his first goal of the season and the LA Galaxy finally snapped their winless start with a 2-0 home victory over Austin FC on Saturday night.

Riqui Puig also scored his first goal and added his second assist for the Galaxy (1-4-3, 6 points), who scored two goals for the second consecutive game with Chicharito in the starting lineup.

The Galaxy scored just three total goals In the first six games while their 2022 leading scorer was working back from a hamstring injury.

Jonathan Klinsmann made two saves to keep his second clean sheet in five starts deputizing for the injured Jonathan Bond. The result helped the Galaxy avoid matching their longest winless start in team history, when they went their first eight games without a victory in 2003.

Sebastian Driussi briefly looked to have put Austin (2-4-2, 8 points) ahead shortly before halftime. But his goal was disallowed for an offside violation in the buildup.

The result was a third consecutive match in which Austin did not score. The Verdes' scoreless streak has now grown to 355 minutes since Jon Gallagher's opener in a 1-1 draw against Colorado on March 25.

With Chicharito fit, Galaxy manager Greg Vanney started two strikers together for the first time this season, and they combined to open the scoring nine minutes into the second half.

It began from an attack down the right flank before Puig received a pass near the right corner of the penalty arc.

Puig somehow found Dejan Joveljic in traffic, and in turn, Joveljic cut an excellent diagonal pass to spring Chicharito in alone on Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver. Mexico's all-time leading international goal scorer hammered an emphatic finish into the net.

As Austin pressured to equalize, the Galaxy punished them to put the match out of reach 10 minutes after their opener.

Marky Delgado stripped Owen Wolff and immediately found himself in wide open space on a 3-on-1 break. He played an excellent cross-field ball into the path of Puig, who hit another finish that left no doubt.

--Field Level Media