Galaxy open up CCL play with a win

Posted on 24 August 2012 by iyeo

The Los Angeles Galaxy’s opening match of the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League tournament had just about everything one could ask for.

The Galaxy got goals from its star players, but had to weather some questionable officiating late in the second half which featured a red card to Robbie Keane and a yellow card right in the midst of a substitution. Yet despite all that, as well as the absence of Landon Donovan, the Galaxy tallied five goals, two of them by Juninho, and rode it to a 5-2 win over Isidro Metapan at the Home Depot Center.

“A lot of emotions, but we’re just happy to get the win,” Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee said. “No injuries and it was an extremely frustrating game to play in under obvious circumstances, but we’re just happy we won.”

Despite a flurry of chances by the Galaxy in the opening frame, it was Metapan struck first in the 17th minute when Nicolas Munoz buried a rebound shot past Galaxy keeper Josh Saunders for the game’s first goal. It didn’t take the Galaxy long to respond, getting the equalizer in the 20th minute when David Beckham’s cross deflected off a Metapan defender, went high in the air and crossed the goal line. Beckham then supplied the go-ahead goal in the 22nd minute when his cross found Robbie Keane in the penalty box and Keane slid the shot past Metapan keeper Fidel Mondragon. Beckham found the net himself right before halftime, as his corner was cut off by Mondragon, but crossed the goal line to give LA a two-goal cushion going into halftime.

“Its hard, we definitely have to get a lot of points in this tournament,” Juninho said. “We got off to a slow start, but we were able to turn it around.”

The Galaxy maintained its lead throughout the second half even as referee Alfredo Penaloza inserted himself into the match, beginning in the 71st minute when Robbie Keane was tripped by two Metapan players while attempting to charge into the penalty area. Penaloza however whistled Keane for diving, Keane appeared to protest the call and Penaloza abruptly ended Keane’s night, sending him off with a red card.

“He started bad and he finished bad,” Juninho said in regard to the officiating.

The madness continued in the 80th minute when Michael Stephens replaced Beckham in the 80th minute, and was surprisingly greeted a yellow card. Despite all that, the Galaxy ultimately put the game away with two goals from Juninho, the first in the 82nd minute and the second coming well into stoppage time. Sandwiched in between those goals was a penalty kick goal by Nicolas Munoz in the 88th minute.

“I was in a good position on the field,” Juninho said of his goals. “Because of my position on the field, I was able to go out front and be in good spots to score the goal.”

The Galaxy will jump back into MLS play on Sunday, as they face FC Dallas in a crucial Western Conference matchup.

Leave a Reply

Advertise Here
Advertise Here