Los Angeles Galaxy get back to winning ways with 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders

April 12, 2015

Carson, Calif. -- After a 1-0 loss at DC United, and last weekend’s 2-0 loss in Vancouver, the Galaxy came limping, literally, into Sunday afternoon's home matchup against the Seattle Sounders at the Stubhub Center, as Los Angeles' star Robbie Keane was unable to play due to a groin injury.

But perhaps all the Galaxy needed to stop their losing streak was just some home cooking -- and an outstanding performance by goalkeeper Jaime Penedo -- as Los Angeles managed to earn a close 1-0 win before a sellout crowd without last season's MVP in the lineup.

In the opening minutes, the Galaxy were the aggressors, earning an early opportunity for an Omar Gonzalez header off a corner-kick in the 6th minute, but keeper Stefan Frei was able to corral the ball before Gonzalez had a sure goal.

Seattle countered with a Lamar Neagle shot that led to a corner-kick, and then an Obafemi Martins breakaway, but Gonzalez and Penedo thwarted those threats with defensive stops.

In the 18th minute, Robbie Rogers attacked from the wing and cut inside with the ball for a shot from the top of the box, but he missed the far post.

Again the Sounders countered in the 22nd minute when Dylan Remick crossed the ball into the box and Neagle headed a shot right at goal from just a few yards away. However, Penedo kept the Sounders off the scoring sheet with another fantastic diving save.

With both teams exchanging chances, it was the Galaxy who eventually would score in the 23rd minute when Juninho crossed the ball into Gonzalez and he headed it to the back post. Charging in was Alan Gordon with the header for a goal to the upper corner. The goal ended the Galaxy’s scoreless streak at 290 minutes of play, and put them up 1-0.

"I thought Gordon was a real man today," said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena.  "He obviously got the winning goal, played strong the entire 90 minutes. I think he played quite well."

Despite the absence of Seattle star Clint Demsey (hamstring), the Sounders still continued to mount an impressive offensive attack.

In the 35th minute, Neagle broke free and had a strong shot at goal, but Penedo was able to punch it out.

“Jaime Penedo stepping up today was critical in this result,” said Arena.

The second half started with Los Angeles  getting great consecutive shots at goal. First, it was Robbie Rogers with a close range shot that he elected to go near post, but again Frei made the save. Juninho followed it up with a 18-yard far post shot that tested the keeper, but missed just wide.

Seattle had another great chance to score in the 53rd minute when Neagle crossed the ball in front of the goal and Andy Rose did everything right except get it past Penedo, who was again in perfect position to deflect the shot and keep the Galaxy up 1-0.

That would be the theme of the afternoon, as the match seemed to be centered around Neagle challenging Penedo for that elusive Seattle goal.

In the 57th minute, Neagle was inside the 6-yard box and shot to the near post, however, Penedo managed to keep another shot out.

The Sounders' Aaron Kovar had one last quality chance in the 87th minute when the players abruptly stopped for an expected offside call. Kovar received the ball on the left side and took a shot, but hero-of-the-day Penedo rushed out to him and snuffed out both his attempt and any chance of Seattle equalizing the game.

Los Angeles will next face Sporting Kansas City next Saturday at home.

By Brian Kowalski
Reporter for TheDailySportsHerald.com

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