LA Galaxy

Chicharito apologizes to LA Galaxy fans for Panenka penalty miss

Chris Smith
Chicharito blew the chance to win the game for LA.
Chicharito blew the chance to win the game for LA. / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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In the final moments of Sunday's match against Sporting Kansas City, Chicharito stepped up to take a penalty that could have sent the LA Galaxy to within just a point of the MLS Cup Playoffs spots.

There's arguably no player Galaxy supporters would rather see line one up from 12 yards so what happened next left everyone in complete shock; Chicharito not only missed, but placed a tame Panenka effort straight into the hands of SKC goalkeeper John Pulskamp.

Full-time, 2-2, and two precious points dropped in the race to make the post-season. As you'd expect, Chicharito was quick to apologize after the match.

"Gs, sorry. It's pretty obvious we had one clear chance to get the three points and we couldn't. I'm taking responsibility," Chicharito said while still out on the field. "I'm sorry. I'm going to keep working very hard. Two weeks ago, the Panenka worked really well, now this time it didn't work. I need to look forward and take responsibility, keep improving, and keep working."

Chicharito's miss was even more costly in that it denied him a hat-trick, while it came just minutes after he had converted another spot-kick to bring the Galaxy level from 2-1 down.

Speaking to reporters after the match, the Mexican striker added: "Like I said it to the fans, to everyone over here, I am not going to play the victim. I am sorry, of course, I am sorry. It’s a very key play. It’s like if I had a one-versus-one at the end of the game and I miss it. It’s the same, just this is a penalty, it’s more obvious."

Chicharito continued: "I didn’t plan it, it was my instinct, I did a huge mistake and I’ll take the responsibility.”

Head coach Greg Vanney was hesitant to pin the blame for Sunday's dropped points solely on Chicharito, but was clearly frustrated by his star striker's decision from the spot.

"I mean, we grinded until the end and had an opportunity to wrap the three points at the end. He buried one before. He stepped up and he made a decision. It was the wrong decision," he said. "He knows that. He knows how I feel. He knows how his teammates feel. It is what it is. We’ve just got to keep moving forward, and we lost an opportunity there in the end."

Up next for the Galaxy is a trip to Nashville SC on Saturday.


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