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Galaxy gets late goal to salvage 1-1 tie with Chicago

Chicago's Collins John scored on a penalty kick after the Galaxy's Omar Gonzalez received a yellow card in the 87th minute. Gonzalez then headed in a corner shot from Landon Donovan in the 90th minute.

September 05, 2010

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — Omar Gonzalez made up for his gaffe in a big way.

With Chicago Fire fans still celebrating their go-ahead goal — set up by Gonzalez's foul — Gonzalez headed in a corner from Landon Donovan in the 90th minute Saturday to salvage a 1-1 tie for the Galaxy.

"Most teams in the league would have lost that game," said Donovan, who blew two chances to score in the first half. "We kept fighting and got something out of it."

The draw ended a season-high two-game losing streak for the Galaxy (13-5-5), which leads Major League Soccer with 44 points. The Galaxy has been struggling since opening the season with a 12-game unbeaten streak, losing three of its last five.

The Galaxy now returns home, knowing it has only one game outside Los Angeles in the last seven weeks of the season. One of its two road games is against Chivas USA, with whom it shares the field at the Home Depot Center.

"We're going to take it," Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said. "If we'd been a little bit better, we'd get three points today. But we'd be insane to complain."

Already without leading scorer Marco Pappa, who is on national team duty with Guatemala, Chicago (6-7-7) was forced to play with 10 men after Gonzalo Segares was ejected in the 21st minute. But the Fire caught a break when Gonzalez was given a yellow card in the 87th minute for a hard tackle on John Thorrington.

Collins John, who had come on five minutes earlier, took the free kick from 20 yards, curling it past a diving Donovan Ricketts to just inside the far post.

"That was a big bummer," Gonzalez said. "I was pretty upset about it. But I bounced back really quickly."

Donovan swung the corner kick in perfectly, finding the 6-foot-5 Gonzalez right in front of the net. Despite a Fire player on his back, Gonzalez jumped up and got his head on the ball, nudging it past Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson.

"It looked like everyone was tight to their man, but he got up better and won it," C.J. Brown said.

With Chicago so short-handed — it also was missing Freddie Ljungberg — the Galaxy dominated for most of the afternoon and could easily have been up 2-0 at halftime.

Segares' ejection gave the Galaxy a penalty kick, but Johnson smothered Donovan's shot. Donovan had another chance in the 39th minute when Alex Cazumba found him in front of a wide-open goal, but his header was off the mark.

The Galaxy finished with a whopping 20-9 shot advantage, including 8-2 for shots on goal.

"We did a good job of creating chances," Donovan said. "We probably deserved more, but to go down a goal late and get it right back, I'm real proud of these guys."

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