Daniel Royer is one happy camper after scoring his first MLS goal of the season. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

CARSON, Calif. — With one swift kick, Alejandro Romero Gamarra spared the Red Bulls an embarrassing result after they squandered a two-goal, second-half advantage against the LA Galaxy Saturday night.

The midfielder nicknamed Kaku converted a penalty kick in the 84th minute to boost New York to a 3-2 victory at the StubHub Center.

The Red Bulls (4-2, 12 points) were awarded a penalty kick after LA’s Dave Romney was called for a handball in the penalty area. Kaku then powered a hard shot to the left of goalkeeper David Bingham to snap a 2-2 deadlock.

The Red Bulls survived a near disaster, after surrendering a two-goal lead in the second half.

“We relaxed a little bit and we weren’t paying attention to some of the details,” Kaku said. “I think that is why they were able to get back into the game. They got some confidence after they scored their first goal but we were able to fight back and get the win.”

The visitors were aided by two decisions from the Video Assistant Referee that negated two LA goals.

“I am used to not getting VAR so it was nice to get it,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said. “I don’t know enough about what happened so it is hard to make any comments on it. Overall I thought the referee did a nice job with the day with the night. I’ll know more once I look at the video and see how close plays were. You would hope that they got them right and that it is nice to have it work in our favor.”

Not surprisingly, LA head coach Sigi Schmid had another view.

“I think you should interview the officials. I thought it was awful,” he said. “On the VAR, I see here that they’ve got an assistant video guy, another assistant guy, a replay supervisor, a replay operator, a replay operator assistant, another replay operator assistant, a review assistant…and the guy who’s in charge of it. My understanding of it is that you don’t overturn it unless it’s clear and unequivocal. You watch Ibra’s goal, which would have made it 3-2, and the linesman ends up calling offside. If you watch the replay of the linesman, he almost dropped the flag he was so nervous putting the flag up. If he lets the goal stand, then they don’t overturn it the other way. But because he calls offsides, they feel it’s not clear. But when you watch the replay, he’s clearly onside. And I don’t understand the PK either, but it’s harder to see that on replays. I think they got the first one right where they called [Ola] Kamara off. I’ve always said I’m a fan of VAR, but I don’t know if I am anymore.”

Kaku Goal | 4/28/18

Pick a corner! Kaku converts from the spot 🙌

Posted by New York Red Bulls on Saturday, April 28, 2018

Video courtesy of the Red Bulls’ Facebook page

No one in the StubHub Center stands could complain about the action and drama in this confrontation.

After several frustrating games and near misses, midfielder Daniel Royer finally got on the scoresheet with his first goal of the game in the seventh minute.

Kaku started the scoring sequence with a ball to an onrushing Bradley Wright-Phillips on the right flank. BWP raced into the penalty area and placed a perfect cross to Royer, who slotted the ball past goalkeeper David Bingham from close range.

“It feels really nice,” Royer said. “I was close in the games before but it didn’t happen, I was pretty unlucky I think. I knew I had to fight through it and the goals would come and I am really happy that it happened today. I saw Bradley getting on the run and I was just hoping that he somehow can play the ball into the box and try to be in the spot I am supposed to be. Great ball and luckily nobody touched it and I was there to convert it.”

The Red Bulls dodged a few bullets in the opening half as keeper Luis Robles was forced to make two diving saves to his right to deny Sebastian Lletget and Giovanni dos Santos in the second and fifth minutes, respectively.

Five minutes later, Romain Alessandrini thought he had scored, but after the Video Assistant Referee surveyed a replay at the play, the goal was called off due to an offside call.

Then it was the Red Bulls’ turn to get close, not once, but twice. First, Bingham denied Tyler Adams from in close in the 27th minute before Aaron Long banged a corner kick off the far right post a minute later.

Only four minutes into the second half, New York doubled its pleasure as halftime substitute Florian Valot tallied. Wright-Phillips intercepted a ball at midfield and motored down the left side before finding Valot, who scored from close-range for a 2-0 advantage. Valot had come on for center back Aurelien Collin at halftime.

“You can’t give up goals in the sixth minute and the first minute of the second half,” Schmid said. “That’s unacceptable.”

But that lead did not last as LA struck twice within a six-minute span to equalize.

First, Zlatan Ibrahimovic feed Ole Kamara with a pin-point feed as the striker scored his first goal since the Galaxy’s season opener in the 59th minute.

Dos Santos knotted things up at 2-2 in the 66th minute as he slipped home a Dave Romney feed from six yards. Ibrahimovic also received an assist.

“Some of it was our inability to manage turnovers and little mental errors and a set piece goal on the second one but that is one of the things about coaching young players is you have to sort of live with certain things sometimes,” Marsch said. “It doesn’t make it easy on the bench but again if … it led to us showing more character in a big moment then … it ends up being a positive so we’ll look a little bit at how we can understand how to manage things on the road, how to manage a good team when they are throwing things at us. I take away a big positive watching them really respond at 2-2.”

In the latter stages, Ibrahimovic thought he had tallied LA’s third goal, but he was ruled to be offside.

“It was a fun game,” Royer said. “I think it was a fun game to watch and specially to play. We could have done better after the two nothing lead, but then to bounce back after they tied it is big time. I think it shows high quality of the team and particularly mentality. It was really fun to get the win at the end.”

Scoring Summary:

NY – Daniel Royer 1 (Wright-Phillips, Gamarra) 7′
NY – Florian Valot 2 (Wright-Phillips, Gamarra) 49′
LA – Ola Kamara (Ibrahimovic) 59′
LA – Giovani Dos Santos (Romney, Ibrahimovic) 66′
NY – Alejandro Romero Gamarra (PK) 84′

Misconduct Summary:
LA – Giovani Dos Santos (caution, unsporting behavior) 61′
NY – Ryan Meara (caution, no impact on timing) 89′

New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles ©; Kemar Lawrence, Tim Parker, Aaron Long, Aurelien Collin (Florian Valot, HT), Michael Amir Murillo, Tyler Adams, Sean Davis, Daniel Royer (Derrick Etienne, Jr., 76′), Alejandro Romero Gamarra, Bradley Wright-Phillips (Alex Muyl, 87′)


LA Galaxy: David Bingham; Dave Romney (Chris Pontius, 86′), Jorgen Skjelvik, Michael Ciani (Daniel Steres, 89′), Giovani Dos Santos (Emmanuel Boateng, 80′), Ola Kamara, Perry Kitchen, Romain Alessandrini, Sebastian Lletget, Zlatan Ibrahimovic


Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Andrew Bigelow, Ian Anderson
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
VAR: Tim Ford

Attendance: 26704