Categorized | MLS, MLS Match Reports

Juninho, Keane carry Galaxy past Toronto FC

Posted on 23 September 2012 by iyeo

A Pair of aces? How about a pair of braces.

That’s what the Los Angeles Galaxy got on Saturday night against Toronto FC. Juninho and Robbie Keane found the back net twice for LA, and both of their braces turned out to be badly needed on Saturday, as LA jumped out early and eventually held off a feisty Toronto squad en route to a 4-2 win at the Home Depot Center.

“Tonight was in my view not a complete performance,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “We were a little bit sloppy, but still, I thought Toronto came after us for 90 minutes.”

The win clinches a playoff spot for the Galaxy, who were once again without the services of midfielder David Beckham. The win and the playoff berth wasn’t the only good news for Los Angeles, as San Jose’s 2-1 win over Seattle means the Galaxy are in second place in the Western Conference, albeit tied with Real Salt Lake, who defeated visiting Portland 2-1 on Saturday.

“We’re pleased with the win,” Arena said. “We know we can play better, (but) we’re happy with where we stand right now.”
The Galaxy were on the offensive right from the start, and broke through 11 minutes in when Christian Wilhelmsson was fouled on the left just outside the penalty area. Juninho stepped in for the set piece and curled a ball past the TFC wall and keeper Freddy Hall for the first goal of the game. Goal number two was vintage Juninho in the 33rd minute, as he received a ball from Sean Franklin and a quick touch enabled him to wind up and fire away from about 30-35 yards out and it sailed past Hall into the far post. It became a three-goal LA lead in the 36th minute when Donovan crossed a ball to Mike Magee in the penalty area, Magee turned Richard Eckersley, left a ball for Keane who in turn maneuvered past Eckersley and chipped a ball for goal that was deflected by Hall, but still rolled its way across the goal line.

“Whenever he gets the ball, he just needs to shoot,” Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee said of Juninho’s recent run of form. “The form he’s in right now is literally like nothing I’ve ever seen, not in practice, not in games, not on TV, not anything.”

Despite being outplayed for the first 37 minutes, Toronto was keen to show it was not the side sitting in last place in the Eastern Conference. TFC got on the board just two minutes after Keane’s goal, as a throw in by Jeremy Hall was headed by Luis Silva to an open Terry Dunfield, and the midfielder’s header beat Saunders far post to get Toronto on the board. Toronto made it really interesting in the 86th minute, as Eric Avila crossed a ball into the box for Silva, his shot deflected off Omar Gonzalez and sailed past Saunders across the goal line to cut the Galaxy lead to just a single goal. Keane however put aside any thought of a Toronto comeback, as he received a ball from Landon Donovan in the box, Keane then turned Ashtone Morgan and sent his shot past Hall into the back net to seal the three points for Los Angeles.

“There’s always a lot of fight left in us,” Toronto FC head coach Paul Mariner said. “My hat goes off to the lads, they worked hard coming back to 3-2 away from home against the Galaxy, but at the end of the day, we still lost.”

The Galaxy now brace for a difficult stretch of matches, starting next Sunday when it travels to Colorado to face the Rapids. That match is easy compared to what awaits them the next three matches after that, as they face Real Salt Lake at home, followed by San Jose on the road, then a CONCACAF Champions League match on the road against Isidro Metapan, then at home against Seattle to close out the regular season.

Leave a Reply

Advertise Here
Advertise Here