After scoring twice in the match, including a previous penalty in the 88th minute, the Mexico forward gambled with a Panenka on a spot kick in the 97th minute that was easily saved by opposing goalkeeper John Pulskamp, denying the Galaxy a game-winner.
John Pulskamp read the mind of Chicharito. 🤯— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 5, 2022
Denied the hat trick and stoppage-time winner from the penalty spot. pic.twitter.com/Ov6zbnOiyh
"I am sorry, of course I am sorry," said Hernandez in the post-game press conference. "I did a huge mistake and I'll take the responsibility.
"My instinct took over. In Mexico we say 'me jugo una mala pasada' [it played a trick on me]," added Hernandez, who scored the 200th and 201st goals of his club career before the failed penalty.
With the Galaxy sitting just outside the MLS playoff positions at eighth in the Western Conference table, Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney expressed his disapproval of the decision by his star striker, but said the team had to move on from it.
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"It was the wrong decision. The wrong decision. He [Chicharito] knows that. He knows how I feel. He knows how his teammates feel," Vanney said. "We've just got to keep moving forward, and we lost an opportunity there in the end."
Although they are unbeaten in their last five matches, Vanney and his players have been incapable of holding onto leads in three of those appearances. The Galaxy now have six games left to avoid a possible third season in a row without playoff qualification.
Next up for Hernandez and his teammates is an away game against Nashville SC (fourth in the West) on Sept. 10.