Why was the MLS game between Austin FC and LA Galaxy delayed by three hours?
The Verde and Black and the Galaxy played out a six-goal thriller at Q2 Stadium, which finished much later than expected.
It started on Sunday and finished on Monday (depending where you are), but the MLS Western Conference clash between Austin FC and LA Galaxy was well worth the wait. On X (formerly known as Twitter), “#MLSAfterDark” was how The Verde and Black referred to the game, which got underway at 12:30 a.m. ET and finished two hours later.
“Inclement weather” delays Austin vs the Galaxy
The fixture at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas had been scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. ET but kick-off eventually had to put back due to “inclement weather”. Q2 Stadium’s X account posted “A lightning strike has occurred within our safety perimeter. As a result we are now instituting a mandatory shelter-in-place protocol for all stadium guests”, followed by several updates forecasting when the threat of lighting would be over and the match would be able to begin.
Ironically enough, Austin FC had posted various snaps of their home ground in blistering sunshine only a few hours earlier.
LA Galaxy’s incredible late comeback
A lengthy wait for players and fans alike, but one which proved to be well worth it once play got underway. Injury-time goals were a recurring theme as Riqui Puig’s penalty for the Galaxy late in the first half cancelled out Alexander Ring’s early opener. However, Austin led at the break regardless, Ethan Finlay almost immediately restoring their lead.
It looked as if the hosts would be picking up all three points when Emiliano Rigoni put them 3-1 up with just 15 minutes left to play, but late, late strikes from Dejan Joveljic and Michael Barrios, the second of which came four minutes in injury time, snatched an unlikely point for the California side.
MLS Cup Playoffs still a possibility
A point apiece does little to held either side, with Austin remaining in 12th place out of 14 in their Western Conference, one spot ahead of the Galaxy. Both could, however, still qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs wildcard round if they are able to finish the regular season strongly.