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Keane converts late PKs to lead Galaxy to comeback win vs. Crew

Robbie Keane


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It had the makings of yet another match where the Los Angeles Galaxy played well enough to win, but didn’t. After more than 70 minutes of domination, the Galaxy had yet to find the net.

When Bernardo Anor headed home the first goal of the match, and gave the Columbus Crew a 1-0 lead on the Galaxy, Bruce Arena’s side looked destined for another disappointing night.

Things changed quickly though, as a pair of penalty calls against Columbus allowed Robbie Keane to finish off a pair of PK attempts to help give the Galaxy a 2-1 victory at StubHub Stadium.

Keane’s first penalty came after Jose Villarreal drew a PK, then Keane drew a penalty of his own in stoppage time. That controversial penalty, which appeared to come off a Keane dive, set up the eventual winning goal.

The Crew looked like they might pull the road upset when Bernardo Anor beat A.J. De La Garza to a Federico Higuain free kick, heading home the opening goal from the top of the penalty area.

The Galaxy kept the pressure on even after surrendering the goal though, and equalized just seven minutes later when Jose Villarreal drew the first penalty after being taken down by Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.

Keane stepped up and converted the penalty with a perfect low right shot he repeated in stoppage time.

The Galaxy’s second penalty shout came in stoppage time, when Keane went down after what the referee determined to be a push from Anor on Keane. Replays showed there wasn’t much contact from Anor, but referee Sorin Stoica still pointed to the spot. Keane delivered a perfect penalty to secure the victory.

As much as the Crew can argue the validity of the penalty calls, particularly the one drawn by Keane for the game-winning goal, the match itself was one dominated by the Galaxy for much of the night.

As much as the three points are a welcome relief to the Galaxy, Bruce Arena will have to come away from the match feeling like he is team once again failed to play to their full capability. Playing without Landon Donovan, who was away with the U.S. Men’s National Team, the Galaxy controlled the play for much of the evening, and out-shot the Crew 23-8 and held a 60-40 possession edge on the Crew.


What did you think of the match? Think the penalty calls were legitimate, or did you think Keane dove on the winning PK call?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I thought both teams were very sloppy with the ball. There were a lot of errant passes and poor touches. The Galaxy played better than C-Bus, but that doesn’t really say much in my book. Defensively, both teams played well. C-Bus made Keane give up the ball and the G’s prevented Iguine and the Crew from having the ball in dangerous places.

    If the Crew had been better technically I think they would have won the game on brains. Zardis and Villareal seemed incapable of anticipating the play. Mike Magee has a great soccer brain, as was demonstated by his world class pass to beat the Smurfs yesterday. His ability to unbalance the defense with runs off the ball, good technical skills on the ball, ability to anticipate the play, and his ability to make the most of small opportunities make Rogers look less than ordinary.

    I’m struggling with Mike’s desire to leave a club that gave him so much, and with Bruce’s willingness to let him go. Rogers has never struck me as a smart soccer player. The collective soccer IQ on the Galaxy right now took a huge hit with that trade.

  2. It sure is frustrating to watch the Galaxy this season. Last night their p@ssing was so quick and crisp and they moved the ball so smartly, got into dangerous positions and failed to convert. Despite the two PK’s, Keane hit the underside of the bar and missed on a p@ss to a wide open player in front of the goal for what would have been a tap in. That kind of typified their season. The second PK was definitely a gift, but you can’t say they didn’t deserve the win as they clearly played much better than the Crew.

  3. As always, the hate is delicious.

    Considering Alan Gordon got away with a foul on his first goal against the Galaxy last weekend, we kinda deserve to get a call that goes our way. There’s also the fact that Keane was pushed, which is a foul anywhere on the pitch.

    • + 1 Also, Salinas scored the 2nd goal when he should have been off the pitch for the elbow to Keane, as confirmed by MLS review. The Galaxy haters conveniently ignore this sort of thing.

    • SJ overcame a soft red card to score 2 more goals with 10 men from the run of play to beat LA. Why even compare the 2 games?

      • I agree. I’m a Galaxy fan, and I’m ashamed to look at the highlights. But what makes me most embarrassed? Villareal misses one of the easiest tap ins I’ve ever seen. If he can’t find the extra gear to right foot that chance in, then he needs to go back to the reserves.

        He was useless for the U-20’s and he’s bringing that same trash to MLS. I grant you, he has a good left foot. And he’s capable of some true magic from time to time. But flopping around in the box and missing easy chances is why most Americans disdain even the mention of soccer.

        Why did we let Magee go again?

        Oh, that’s right. To make headlines.

        But the drop off in quality is just too extreme. #worsttradeever

        And for those of you hating on Keane, he’s been doing this is whole career. Take it or leave it. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s been carrying this team on his back for months now.

  4. LA really need to work on their finishing. 28 shots and 0 goals in the run of play. What good is possession when it’s squandered away?

    • It’s what happens when you’re trying to bleed in a young attack force. It becomes very erratic.

      Keane starting to become Donovan 2.0 from a few seasons back when most of his goals were seemingly from PKs.

      Glad Arena is still trusting youth. It’ll benefit the USMNT later. Then Arena will complain about it when they’re off on international duty. It’s a hard life Brucey, tell us about it..

      • “Keane starting to become Donovan 2.0 from a few seasons back when most of his goals were seemingly from PKs.”


        Yes, that when he doesn’t have another veteran quality player to play off of. Magee trade was a disaster.

  5. Both pk’s were very soft. If they award one soft pk, so be it. But 2, within the last 5 min? Horrible.

  6. Biff, missed calls are part of the game dude. Sometimes an official does have a poor angle and a good flop is awarded a penalty. This is what we call, the breaks, and somestimes thems be them. It would literally be impossible to overturn every incontrovertible missed call or penalty award was awarded post-facto, because nothing in fact is incontrovertible because we can’t without google glasses and a mind reader know both the view of the referee and the player’s true intent at the time of action or if they even acted with any premeditation. How old are you?? 16? welcome to life buddy, sometimes it’s unfair

  7. Just looked at the video of the second penalty call and looks like a definite dive to me and Robbie Keane should not only be ashamed of himself for cheating, but should be disciplined by MLS and suspended a couple of games.The game should be retroactively ruled a draw with the Crew getting a point in order to try to stamp our cheat diving once and for all. If that result is left to stand and Robbie Keane hailed as a hero is a sad day for MLS.

    • Just because it shouldn’t have been called as a penalty does not mean that it was a yellow-card offense. There was definitely contact, and maybe it was enough for him to fall over, even if it should not have been called a foul. There are definitely times when referees jump the gun when deciding whether or not a player has dived. Unless it is 100% clear and blatant, a no-call will suffice.

    • I haven’t seen an LA team get it’s dikc sucked this hard since Dawid Stern instructed his officials to make sure the Lakers made the playoffs this year. This game is of course the equivalent of the Lakers/Blazers game from earlier this year. Now all we need is someone to put together the youtube clip documenting this atrocity.


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