by Alex Baker

(Carson, CA) – The Los Angeles Galaxy‘s seven match unbeaten streak came to an end Saturday night when the reigning MLS champions were dealt a 2-1 home defeat by Real Salt Lake.

The Galaxy went up early courtesy of Robbie Keane.

17th Juninho cut the ball across the top of the 18 for Robbie Keane who took a couple of strides to close the distance and then blasted a shot into the far corner to make it 1-0 Galaxy in the 17th minute of play.

However with AJ DeLaGarza and Todd Dunivant out of the lineup, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena was forced to field a somewhat makeshift backline that featured Bryan Gaul and Tommy Meyer alongside first choice starters Omar Gonzalez and Sean Franklin.

The visitors meanwhile, fielded a very attack-minded lineup that was headed up by strikers Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saboria. RSL coach Jason Kreiss’ buccaneering selection policy paid off when Espindola was played through by Saboria and slid a shot past Galaxy keeper Josh Saunders to make it 1-1 in the 25th.

Espindola scored again barely two minutes later when he got a head to a cross in from Javier Morales and flicked the ball past Saunders to make it 2-1 Real in the 28th.

Try as they might, the Galaxy were unable to mount a response to Real’s second goal. Despite good chances from Sean Franklin, Juninho and Mike Magee, the Galaxy couldn’t quite find an equalizing goal. Bruce Arena made a number of attempts to shake things up, introducing substitutes Edson Buddle, Cristian Wilhelmson, and Jose Villareal. However none of the Galaxy coach’s attack-minded substitutes were able to access the status quo and the match ultimately wound to a halt with Real Salt Lake seeing out their lead to emerge the victors.

While the loss has little bearing on the Galaxy’s efforts to reach the playoffs this year, it had a feel of significance, due mainly to the rivalry that has been budding between the Galaxy and Real Salt Lake over the past few years.

LA now sit in third place, right behind Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthuqakes.

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