Julian Araujo lifts Galaxy to MLS playoff win over Nashville SC

CARSON — The Galaxy returned to the MLS Cup Playoffs on Saturday for just the second time in six seasons and isn’t going away any time soon.

Julian Araujo scored in the 60th minute on a cross from Samuel Grandsir to help lead the Galaxy to a 1-0 victory over Nashville SC on Saturday in front of 22,280 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

The Galaxy will face a familiar opponent in the Western Conference semifinals as it takes on crosstown rival LAFC at 7 p.m. Thursday at Banc of California Stadium.

After a scoreless first half, the Galaxy thought it had the opening goal in the 51st minute. Riqui Puig fed Chicharito Hernandez, who beat Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis. However, referee Armando Villarreal went to the VAR and looked at a potential foul by Araujo that sent Hany Mukhtar to the ground. That was enough for the goal to be waived off.

The Galaxy and LAFC will square off for the fourth time this season. The Galaxy won their initial MLS matchup 2-1 on April 9 at home, followed by a 4-1 US Open Cup victory on May 25 again at Dignity Health Sports Park. LAFC exacted revenge with a 3-2 victory July 8 on their turf.

More to come on this story.

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