CARSON — It might be easy to forget about Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s start to the 2021 season.
The forward scored 10 goals in the first 10 games for the Galaxy before he was sidelined by a calf injury.
His first game back was last Saturday as he put in a 60-minute shift during a 1-1 tie at Colorado.
On Wednesday night, in his first home game since June 19, Hernandez was back on the scoreboard, helping the Galaxy (11-8-5, 38 points) secure a point in a 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo in front of 15,341 at Dignity Health Sports Park.
At this point in the season, any point is better than no points and it certainly looked as if the Galaxy was trending toward getting nothing from this game.
The Dynamo (4-10-11, 23 points) opened the scoring in the 13th minute as Fafa Picault slipped by Galaxy defender Sega Coulibaly and poked the ball into the net.
The end of the half wasn’t any better as Hernandez took a knock to his right foot and hit the turf in the 45th minute. He limped off the field at halftime but rejoined the team for the start of the second half.
Looking for a spark, Galaxy coach Greg Vanney brought on Dejan Joveljic to start the second half, replacing Efrain Alvarez.
In the 61st minute, the move paid off as Joveljic sent a cross toward Hernandez, who elevated and headed the ball into the net to even the score. The goal was his first since June 26, when he scored twice in a win at San Jose.
The Galaxy had the majority of possession in the second half as it pressed for the winning goal.
The draw is the second in a row for the Galaxy. Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Colorado could be considered a good point. This one, on the other hand, will leave a bad taste in the team’s mouth.
The Galaxy has a four-point lead on fifth-place Portland in the Western Conference standings. The teams that finish second, third and fourth will host first-round playoff matches.
Jonathan Klinsmann started his second game in goal for the Galaxy. Regular starter Jonathan Bond was out due to a low-grade quadriceps strain.
Galaxy had just one win over Houston in the last eight meetings entering Wednesday’s game.
The Galaxy will return to action Saturday on the road at Minnesota United FC.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) September 16, 2021