Los Angeles Galaxy defeat Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-0

August 24, 2014

Carson, Calif. -- It has been a long week for the Los Angeles Galaxy with a 4-1 road loss in Columbus last Saturday, followed by a tough Wednesday matchup in Colorado with the Rapids.  Trailing 3-1 in that game, the Galaxy had a season-defining moment with a valiant comeback effort, prevailing 4-3 on the road thanks to a game-winning goal by Landon Donovan.

On Saturday night, LA was back at it with a home game versus Vancouver in front of 21,637 fans, as the team looked to gain ground in the standings from its present fourth-place spot in the Western Conference.

Carrying over from the compelling win in Colorado, the Galaxy picked up right where they left off with a goal in the 4th minute. 

LA quickly attacked and as Robbie Keane won possession inside the box, he sent a low driven pass across goal that Donovan scored with his left foot at the far post for a 1-0 lead.  The goal was Donovan's 140th of his MLS career and his sixth this season.  The assist was Keane's 10th of the season.

"I’m trying to score whenever I can and trying to put us in a position to win," said Donovan.  "The other day was a little different, coming late and scoring late. Tonight we wanted to start fast, and I wanted to put myself in good positions to be effective. On that play, I was in the right place and the ball fell to me."

As the first half continued, Vancouver started to win more possession of the ball.  In the 25th minute, Darren Mattocks got free with the ball and crossed in a ball near goal, but his team was unable to capitalize on the opportunity.

The Galaxy kept attacking as well behind Marcelo Sarvas’ play, Keane and Donovan's chemistry up front, and Gyasi Zardes' roaming in the box.

In the 33rd minute, Zardes got the ball in the box and back-heeled a pass to Keane who didn’t have control of his shot and it was deflected.  However, Sarvas seemed to be the only player who didn’t stop and his effort gave him a shot on goal.  He beat David Ousted to the far post and put the Galaxy up 2-0.

LA showed no signs of letting up with dominant ball possession and consecutive shots by Keane from Donovan passes.

However in the 56th minute, Vancouver tried to get back in it with Kekuta Manneh pressing the defense and shooting at goal, but Jaime Penedo was able to save and recover before the 'Caps got another shot.

Immediately after Penedo's save, Donovan took a corner with the fans chatting “one more year.”  His kick found the head of Baggio Husidic who headed the ball on target, but a defender standing on the line was able to prevent the score.

Vancouver had a great chance to cut into the deficit in the 82nd minute when Mattocks had a promising shot on goal from inside the box, but Penedo made the save to continue the shutout.

In the final minutes, the game really opened up with both sides getting more space, breakaway opportunities, and more quality shots on goal.

Most notably, in the 85th minute LA was on a breakaway with a classic Donovan run with the ball as defenders were unable to corral the midfielder.  The linkup between Donovan, Keane, Zardes, and Alan Gordon did not produce a goal however.

Despite chances to score a third goal in the waning minutes, LA calmly held on to a 2-0 win at home. 

After the game, Bruce Arena said, “I think it’s a very good win for our team. Thought it was a great team effort collectively on both sides of the ball. We could have gotten more goals, but that is all part of the game. We are really pleased with the three points.”

There is no rest for the weary as the Galaxy (11-5-7) will have another match at home on Wednesday versus DC United.

Box Score

LA – Landon Donovan (Assisted by Robbie Keane) 4’
LA – Marcelo Sarvas (Assisted by Robbie Keane) 32’

News and Notes

  • Panamanian goalkeeper Jaime Penedo is now 10-5-6 as a starter this season. Since joining the Galaxy last year, the goalkeeper is 14-6-10. This was Penedo’s fifth shutout this season and the ninth of his career.
  •  LA has given up the fewest goals in the Western Conference, allowing just 26.
  •  The Galaxy holds the best goal differential in MLS with +15.

By Brian Kowalski
Staff Reporter for TheDailySportsHerald.com

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