Donovan: Early goal changed the game

Dallas took advantage of LA Galaxy's panic to run away with match

CARSON, Calif. – Although the LA Galaxy had two come-from-behind victories in 2010, giving up the first goal was something that always affected the team negatively.

Thus, when FC Dallas scored first on Sunday, the Galaxy’s task was all but insurmountable.

FC Dallas’ David Ferreira opened the scoring in the Western Conference Championship and the visitors went on to win handily, routing the Galaxy 3-0.

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Giving up the first goal made all the difference.

“We stepped off the pedal for a moment and they got their first goal and it seemed to knock us hard,” Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said. “We should have just kept on playing our football and the way we’ve played all season. I think we panicked.”

Falling behind, though, is difficult to overcome no matter which team it is that's down.

“Not just us, but in our league, the team who scores first more or less wins the game,” Landon Donovan said. “It’s difficult when the other team scores first early because a lot of teams in this league play well on the counterattack.”

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That FC Dallas was the team that the Galaxy had to overcome a deficit against made things difficult. LA had come from behind against FC Dallas in the season finale on Oct. 24, surmounting a 1-0 hole to win 2-1 and clinch the Supporters’ Shield. But lightning didn’t strike twice.

“On one play [the goal], everything changed,” Donovan said. “After that, it’s difficult because we attacked but they waited on the counter, and with players like [Marvin] Chavez and Ferreira, that’s an advantage for them.”

Beckham said it was difficult to balance the loss against a season that was overwhelmingly positive for the team.

“It’s disappointing to go out like this, a game away from the final,” he said. “We’re disappointed.

“Overall, it’s been a good season if you step back and look at the way we played, but it counts for nothing because we’re out and we’re on holiday now.”

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