MLS News: Galaxy makes playoffs for first time since 2019, Philadelphia thrashes Charlotte after Rio

    The LA Galaxy claimed their first playoff berth since 2019 after Javier Hernandez earned them a late penalty to secure a 1-1 draw away to Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

    Douglas Costa converted a 68th-minute penalty won by Hernandez after RSL goalkeeper Zach McMath saved Ricky Puig’s penalty in the 17th minute.

    RSL took the lead in the 25th minute from a header from Sergio Cordova, but they were left to lament over Justen Glad, who failed to convert two late headline golden opportunities, dashing their playoff hopes and extending their winless streak to five games.

    Former Manchester United striker Hernandez received a reprieve from Galaxy after a check when Marcelo Silva tied him up inside the box and Costa sent McMath the wrong way.

    The draw was enough for the Galaxy, who are fourth in the Western Conference with 47 points in 33 games, and the RSL are eighth just outside the playoffs with 44 points in 33 games.

    Derrick Etienne scored two late goals against his former team to give the Columbus Crew a 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls, who suffered their third defeat in four games.

    Etienne equalized Franuel Amaya’s lightning strike in the 53rd minute with an 89th-minute strike on the turn before grabbing the winner in the 93rd minute with a rebound.

    The Philadelphia Union handed over the lead to the LAFC in the fans’ shield hunt after being thrashed 4–0 by Charlotte for which Daniel Rios scored four goals for the franchise’s first hat-trick.

    The loss means Philadelphia haven’t been able to win their last two games, leaving them with 64 points in 33 games, while the LAFC has the same number of points in two games since the Portland Timbers on Sunday.

    Donovan Pines scored an own goal and was given a red card as DC United lost 1-0 to Montreal, who were two points closer to Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia with one game to go.

    Sergio Santos was sent off in a late brawl as Cincinnati missed a chance to practically make the playoffs with a 3-2 home loss to the Chicago Fire. Cincinnati came back 3-0 after John Duran’s double for Chicago.

    Minnesota United’s winless streak extended to six games after a 2-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, leaving them in a precarious position in the Western Conference playoff race.

    The Vancouver Whitecaps capitalized on the Minnesota and RSL results and beat Austin 2-0 to keep their playoff hopes alive with their third straight win. The Whitecaps are ninth in the West with 43 points in a single game, followed by Minnesota in seventh with 45 and the RSL with 44.

    Josef Martinez scored a spectacular scissor kick but Atlanta United lost 2-1 to New England, while playoff-qualified Dallas lost 1-0 to Colorado Rapids.

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