LA Galaxy improve playoff hopes with 1-0 win over Montreal

October 16, 2013

Carson, Calif. -- After a 5-0 thumping of Chivas USA, the Galaxy came into Wednesday night’s game against Montreal as the fourth seed in the West.

In addition to the natural storyline that LA is mired in a dog fight for the West playoffs, they also had to deal with being shorthanded because of international duty and injuries associated with Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, Jaime Penedo, and Omar Gonzalez. Robbie Keane had been playing for Ireland and started the game on the bench, and Penedo was on international duty.  Omar Gonzalez and Landon Donovan were both out due to injuries picked up while playing for the US National team.

Montreal didn’t feel sorry for LA’s problems as they also are fighting for their playoff lives in the East.  In the 12th minute, Montreal nearly scored when Marco Di Vaio had the ball crossed to him in front of the goal but couldn’t connect.

In the 25th minute, LA’s young guns tried to give the Galaxy the lead when Michael Stephens crossed into Jack McBean.  McBean’s header was saved by Montreal’s Evan Bush.

Again in the 31st minute the Galaxy had a scoring opportunity on a header when Sean Franklin crossed the ball into Gyasi Zardes.  Bush again made the save.

LA continued to attack in the 34th minute as Juninho earned a Galaxy free-kick from about 30 yards away and a yellow card was given to Collen Warner.  The free-kick was not a ball that McBean could get a header on this time.

The Galaxy started off the second half with plenty of possession in the final third but couldn’t get anything started.  In the 52nd minute, Zardes crossed the ball in and Jose Villareal’s header was not far off the goal.

Montreal threatened to score the game’s first goal as well with multiple attempts from a corner-kick in the 56th minute.  A minute later, the Impact were back at it with a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box, but the kick was poor and hit the defensive wall.

LA countered with a Villareal shot in the 60th minute that missed the far post by inches.  Following the play, LA’s attack would be bolstered with the substitutions of Robbie Keane and Laurent Courtois.

In the 68th minute, the Galaxy got the goal they desperately needed for their playoff aspirations when Kofi Opare scored following a loose ball in the box for what seemed liked minutes.  It was Opare’s first career MLS goal and could not have come at a better time.

The defense was also important for LA, as Leonardo had a crucial steal from Andres Romero on a Montreal breakaway in the 78th minute.

LA nearly had a second goal on two opportunities.  In the 81st minute, Marcelo Sarvas was somehow able to get a shot off from the top of the 18-yard box, but it hit the crossbar. Then in the 85th minute, Robbie Keane hit the crossbar as well, keeping the score at 1-0.

The Galaxy would hold on for the 1-0 win and earn three vitally important points as the MLS season comes to a close.  LA hosts San Jose on Sunday in another important game with both teams fighting for the playoffs and seeding.

By Brian Kowalski
Staff Reporter for The Daily Sports Herald

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