Carson, CA (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Galaxy's dominance at The Home Depot Center came to end on Saturday as the reigning Major League Soccer champions fell at home to Real Salt Lake, 3-1.
Los Angeles concluded the 2011 MLS season unbeaten at home, posting a 12-0-5 regular-season record in Carson, CA en route to its MLS Cup victory on its home field.
But that streak was halted by Real Salt Lake as the Claret and Cobalt came from one goal down to steal all three points against the odds.
The four goals came in the span of 14 second-half minutes. Edson Buddle netted the opener in the 71st minute, but his strike was quickly canceled out by an own goal from Sean Franklin. Salt Lake then took control of the match as Javier Morales and Fabian Espindola scored in the 80th and 85th minutes, respectively, to clinch an unlikely win.
While they could not get on the score sheet early on, the Galaxy did manage to hit the crossbar twice in the opening 45 minutes.
Landon Donovan struck the woodwork in the 27th minute when he unleashed a volley from distance that sailed over Nick Rimando and bounced back into play after rattling the frame.
Marcelo Sarvas was next, as he collected a pass from Edson Buddle and ripped a shot the struck the underside of the crossbar on the stroke halftime. The ball bounced straight down and back into the field of play, coming within inches of crossing the goal line.
Los Angeles eventually took the lead through a familiar face, but one who the club acquired in the offseason. Buddle marked his return to the Galaxy in typical L.A. fashion, getting on the end of a David Beckham cross and heading his effort into the back of the net.
The Galaxy's lead was short-lived though, as a mistake in the back helped Real Salt Lake draw level. Sebastian Velasquez delivered a cross two minutes later that skipped up off turf in front of Franklin. The Galaxy defender was unable to properly deal with the bounce as he redirected the ball past Josh Saunders and into his own goal.
Real Salt Lake poured on the misery for Bruce Arena's men late on, grabbing two goals in the final 10 minutes to seal the win.
Morales netted the game-winner in the 80th minute following a darting run into the box. Ned Grabavoy picked out his run and provided the helper as Morales received the pass through traffic before slotting a shot past Saunders from the middle of the box.
Espindola put the nail in the coffin five minutes later, latching on to a header from Alvaro Saborio and going the distance before smashing a third goal past Saunders from close range.
Hoping their baseball success will translate to titles in another sport, the Yankees are combining with English power Manchester City to own a Major League Soccer expansion team in New York that will start play in 2015.
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