Keane carries Galaxy past Cartagines

Posted on 21 August 2013 by iyeo

The Los Angeles Galaxy’s opening match of the 2013-2014 CONCACAF Champions League tournament against Costa Rican side Cartagines turned to be a difficult start for the Galaxy.

LA did create numerous scoring chances throughout the match, but had to wait until the 66th minute to finally break through. Striker Robbie Keane was once again the catalyst for LA, as his two goals were more than enough for the Galaxy to begin group play with a 2-0 win over Cartagines.

“They (Cartagines) defended well, they defended with numbers for 90 minutes,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “The second goal is going to be big in this competition, so I’m real pleased with our team, they played a complete game for 90 minutes tonight.”

After numerous scoring chances went begging, LA finally broke through in the 66th minute, as Landon Donovan sprung Keane with a through ball into the penalty area. Keane then shot a ball that was initially saved by keeper Wardy Alfaro, but not enough to prevent the ball from continuing forward and eventually crossing the goal line. Keane sealed the win in stoppage time, as Donovan again sent him forward and Keane fire a shot past Alfaro for his second of the game.

“We’re in tune with each other,” Keane said of his partnership with Donovan. “We know each other’s runs and where we’re going to be.”

The Galaxy were aggressive for most of the match, though that first goal turned out to be elusive. Keane had LA’s best chance in the first half, as Michael Stephens played a ball into the Cartagines box towards Keane. Keane chested the ball down, took a quick touched and blasted a ball only to see the ball fly over the framework. The Galaxy almost broke through in the 61st minute, as Center Back Omar Gonzalez headed a corner kick towards an open goal, but was cleared at the line by defender Esteban Sirias.

“The Galaxy had a lot of ball possession and opportunity,” Cartagines head coach Javier Delgado said. “We didn’t have enough on the field today. We started to have control in the midfield and defense, but one mistake cost us.”

Not many changes were made to the Galaxy lineup despite playing just two days after defeating Real Salt Lake back on Saturday. Midfielder Robbie Rogers made his return to the starting lineup after not featuring in the 18 the last two matches, though his evening was cut short with what Arena described as a “hamstring strain.” Center Back Kofi Opare was given the start alongside Omar Gonzalez and performed fairly well.

“He had a very good game,” Arena said of Opare’s performance. “Not an easy game for a young player. He did an excellent job and he’s looked real good for us in training and reserve games. He’s a player we think has a lot of potential.”

The Galaxy next jump back into MLS play, as they travel to the northwest to face the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.

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