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Hernandez stuns as LA Galaxy defeats Austin FC

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored his league-leading seventh goal of the season on Saturday as the LA Galaxy defeated the expansion Austin FC 2-0 in Los Angeles

Hernandez

Hernandez is off to a torrid start to the Major League Soccer season, having scored in each of the Galaxy’s four victories.

“It was very important to step up, because sometimes games like these are a tricky one,” Hernandez said. “We prepared for this game and we didn’t relax.

“We had to have our style and mentality, (but) we also kept a clean sheet. That was very important.”

The Galaxy, who have only lost one game this season, also got a goal from Sebastian Lletget in the first half in front of 7,100 fans at Dignity Health Sports Park.

The Mexican striker is finally turning into the player the Galaxy had hoped he would become when they signed him to a contract in January of last year, making him the highest paid player in the league.

In the 77th minute, Hernandez slipped between a pair of defenders and converted from in close after taking a pass from Julian Araujo.

Hernandez has now tripled his goal output from 2020, and has done it in much fewer games.

“I thought there were some very good attacking moments in the game, probably more than we’ve seen this year,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said. “I think we left three or four goals on the table. I thought the performance was a step forward.”

Goalkeeper Jonathan Bond earned the shutout for the Galaxy in the first meeting between the two clubs.

The shutout was welcome news for the Galaxy as they had allowed eight goals in their previous four matches.

Lletget got the scoring started in the 35th minute with his first goal of the year. Lletget ran onto a long pass from Daniel Steres before beating Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver.

In the 26th minute, a running Hernandez drew a penalty when Jhohan Romana took him down in the box. But a diving Stuver saved Hernandez’s kick.

Elsewhere, Robin Lod scored four minutes into second-half stoppage time as the Minnesota United FC defeated visiting FC Dallas 1-0.

In Philadelphia, Cory Burke scored the lone goal in the ninth minute to lift the Philadelphia Union over the New York Red Bulls 1-0.

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