For a majority of Sunday’s clash at the StubHub Center, the LA Galaxy were stifled by Tim Howard. The Colorado Rapids goalkeeper was left helpless, though, as a deflected shot proved just enough to earn the Galaxy a postseason win.
Giovani dos Santos was credited with a 55th minute goal, as the Galaxy overcame the Rapids, 1-0, at StubHub Center to kickstart the Western Conference semifinals. Dos Santos’ goal came via a Jelle van Damme assist, as the Mexican star header a shot off Axel Sjoberg and in to seal a win.
Throughout Sunday’s clash, the Galaxy were the more aggressive side, but were repeatedly undone by Howard. The Rapids goalkeeper made a trio of saves, keeping the Galaxy at bay in a match that saw Robbie Keane utilized as a substitute.
In Keane’s place, Bruce Arena opted for Alan Gordon, and the decision seemingly paid off early in the first half. Gordon’s 12th minute header was one of two shots to slip past Howard, but the goal was called back after referee Drew Fischer opted against playing advantage for a foul on Robbie Rogers.
Although Gordon and co. would have surely enjoyed a two-goal advantage heading into the second leg, the disallowed goal wasn’t enough to ruin the day as the Galaxy head into next Sunday’s second leg with the lead.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jelle van Damme was an absolute rock at the back, making several tackles and interceptions while also earning the assist on Giovani dos Santos’ goal.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Sunday’s match was decided by the thinnest of margins, as Giovani dos Santos’ finish sealed a win on the day.
MATCH TO FORGET
The Colorado Rapids attack struggled to get going, as Shkelzen Gashi and Kevin Doyle combined to fired zero shots between them.