Three Points: Robbie Keane helps the LA Galaxy steal a win late against Columbus
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano breaks down the LA Galaxy’s dramatic 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew.
ROBBIE KEANE BAILS OUT THE LA GALAXY
Finishing woes plagued the LA Galaxy early, but thanks to a pair of finishes from the penalty spot by Robbie Keane, the LA Galaxy turned zero points into three.
The wily Irishman was effective throughout the match going forward as he racked up seven shots—three of which were on frame— but was unable to find the back of the net as he repeatedly fired chances wide of net. He was presented with a chance that he would not miss in the 86th minute as Jose Villarreal earned a penalty kick that he calmly finished. LA’s comeback was nearly derailed two minutes later as Dominic Oduro fired a shot that was cleared off the line by Todd Dunivant. Minutes later, Keane put LA ahead for good as he drew his own penalty and then slotted it past Crew ‘keeper Andy Gruenebaum.
Keane’s goals were vital in standings as the Galaxy would have found themselves in sixth place in the Western Conference with a loss or a draw, but were able to move up into fourth place thanks to the win while also gaining two points on FC Dallas, who drew 0-0 with Chivas USA.
FINISHING STILL A QUESTION MARK
The LA Galaxy earned a justified victory against the Columbus Crew, but the team still has plenty of work to accomplish in front of goal.
The Galaxy dominated the stat sheet with 23 shots in comparison to the Crew’s eight. Despite their domination, LA’s final touch eluded them as they repeatedly saw opportunities sail wide of the net or over the bar. But the Galaxy’s poor finishing wasn’t the only reason the slow start as Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum managed four saves while also being saved late on by his crossbar after Keane rifled a shot off of it in the 88th minute.
Luckily, the Galaxy were bailed out by two penalty kicks for Keane, allowing them to claim the full three points. However, the poor finishing does raise questions going forward. The takeaway is painfully simple: if LA are to earn victories, they’ll have to put away their opportunities.
CHANGES AHEAD FOR THE LA GALAXY WITH GAME ON SUNDAY?
The LA Galaxy have a quick turnaround to their next game as they will host FC Dallas on Sunday night at StubHub Center. But while Bruce Arena has made just one change to his lineup in the last three games, more changes are expected come Sunday.
With LA returning to action just three days after tonight’s hard-fought win, it would not be surprising to see Arena opt for changes in the attack. One change that Arena may make is the inclusion of either Jack McBean or Jose Villarreal in for the struggling Gyasi Zardes, who managed seven shots against Columbus but placed just one on frame. Since being inserted into the lineup on May 26 against Seattle, Zardes has taken 24 shots but only five have been on target and just one has ended up in the back of the net.
Another possible move could see Colin Clark enter the lineup after the midfielder put in an effective 12 minute shift that included his cross to Keane that set up the sequence for his stoppage time penalty.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com