Michael Farfan's goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time lifted the Philadelphia Union to a 2-1 victory over the Galaxy, a devastating home loss for L.A. in front of a sellout crowd of 27,000 Wednesday night at the Home Depot Center.
The Galaxy failed to muster an important point in the standings after what had looked like a game-saving goal by Chad Barrett in the 73rd minute to tie the Union.
The reserve forward scored from a few feet in front of the net on a strike from Todd Dunivant. Robbie Keane was credited with an assist after the ball barely grazed his foot on the way to Barrett.
"We gave a game away," Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said. "That's a game we should've walked away comfortably with three points, in my opinion."
The task at hand for the Galaxy (6-10-2) was to prove its late collapse Saturday at San Jose was a fluke after the team's June surge, but questions still linger as the Galaxy hits the road.
"It was an extremely poor effort at the end of the game to get exposed and give up the point we worked so hard to earn," Arena said.
Arena's squad had recorded the maximum nine points in the first three contests of June to climb into the playoff race. The Galaxy remains two points behind Colorado for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Toward the end of the first half — largely dominated by L.A. — Union forward Jack McInerney took advantage of a defensive breakdown by the Galaxy to put Philadelphia (4-9-2) ahead, 1-0. He shot from the right side of the six-foot box and the ball trickled into the left side of the net.
The goal was Philadelphia's only shot on target in the first half — the Galaxy had four such opportunities.
The Galaxy missed a golden chance to counter in the 60th minute when A.J. DeLaGarza's shot struck the crossbar.
The Galaxy was unable to capitalize on a flurry of early opportunities. Forward Keane fooled goaltender Zac MacMath twice in the first 11 minutes of the game and had an open net, but on both occasions a Union defender deflected the shot.
Omar Gonzalez made his season debut on the Galaxy defense after tearing a ligament in his left knee in January while playing in Germany.
Although he was taken out at halftime, the 45 minutes of action were an important step forward for a player looking to regain his 2011 form, when he was named MLS defender of the year.
"I thought he played well," Arena said. "He wasn't called on much in the first half because of the nature of the half was that we were dominating."
The Galaxy missed David Beckham, who did not play because of an accumulation of yellow cards.
The Galaxy will hit the road for three games before returning to the Home Depot Center on July 21, when it plays host to Chivas USA.