Douglas Costa scored the tying goal on a second-half penalty kick and the Los Angeles Galaxy clinched a Western Conference playoff spot with a 1–1 draw with Real Salt Lake on Saturday night, Oct. 1, in Carson, Calif.
Jonathan Bond protected the tie with a superb stop on Justen Glad’s header in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time. He had four saves.
The Galaxy (13–12–8, 47 points) are part of the postseason for the first time since 2019.
Sergio Cordova scored for Real Salt Lake (11–11–11, 44 points). RSL is in eighth place, one point behind seventh-place Minnesota United for the final playoff berth in the West with one match remaining.
RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath made seven saves.
Costa’s penalty-kick goal came in the 68th minute.
Salt Lake’s Marcelo Silva knocked Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez to the ground in the box in the 63rd minute but the referee didn’t deem it worthy of a penalty kick.
Two minutes later, a video review began and the call was reversed. Costa signaled he wanted the ball and he sent a left-footed boot high into the center of the net to score his fourth goal of the season.
Riqui Puig had a chance to put the Galaxy in the lead in the 75th minute but his right-footed rocket slammed off the crossbar.
Los Angeles had another solid chance in the 87th minute but Kevin Cabral’s hard right-footed shot smacked the left goalpost. Dejan Joveljic sent the rebound wide left.
Glad had two chances to score on headers during second-half stoppage time. Bond made the huge stop on the first with his right foot in the fourth minute. Glad sent the second over the top of the net in the fifth minute.
Salt Lake took a 1–0 lead in the 25th minute. Aaron Herrera sent a soft pass to Cordova, who was in front of the net and easily headed the ball past Bond for his ninth goal of the season.
MacMath made six first-half saves and the biggest was on Puig’s penalty kick in the 15th minute. Puig’s boot from the spot was too close to the center of the net and MacMath easily made the stop.
The Galaxy outshot Salt Lake 16–11 and put eight on target to RSL’s five.