Three Points: Kofi Opare plays the hero as the LA Galaxy defeat Montreal Impact 1-0
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano offers his Three Points to the Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact. With the win, LA moves into a tie with Seattle Sounders FC for third place in the Western Conference.
KOFI OPARE GRABS HIS FIRST CAREER MLS GOAL TO SEAL WIN
The LA Galaxy needed a goal to break a testy stalemate against the Montreal Impact on Wednesday evening and they eventually grabbed one in the 68 th minute from an unlikely source—rookie center back Kofi Opare.
The sequence was set up off a Juninho corner kick moments earlier that was initially headed by Leonardo toward goal. After a series of shots and deflections, the ball fell perfectly to Opare, who clipped a shot past Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush for the lone goal of the night and his first of his professional career. Following his goal, Opare paid a touching tribute to his longtime friend Arif Merani, who died suddenly on Monday. Opare lifted his jersey following the goal to reveal a “R.I.P. Arif” shirt in honor of Merani, a close friend from Opare’s hometown of Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Opare’s play as of late has been one of the true revelations for the Galaxy this season and with Omar Gonzalez close to returning from injury, the rookie center back has made a major case to earn regular minutes in the LA back four.
ROBBIE KEANE GOES 30 MINUTES A DAY AFTER INTERNATIONAL DUTY IN IRELAND
Robbie Keane showcased his grit on Wednesday as he went 30 minutes in the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact just a day after playing a full 90 minutes in Ireland’s World Cup Qualifying victory over Kazakhstan in Dublin.
Keane arrived in Southern California on Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. and was placed on the substitute’s bench for the match against the Impact. In the 60 th minute, he came on for fellow forward Jack McBean, who had struggled to generate chances. Keane immediately lit a spark under the Galaxy offense and played a role as the Galaxy found the eventual game winner in the 68th minute, helping to set up a melee in the penalty area that led to Kofi Opare’s tally. The forward nearly found a goal of his own in the 85th minute when he chipped a shot that sailed over Montreal ‘keeper Evan Bush, but bounced off the crossbar.
With Keane playing so quickly after his international break, expect that the Irishman to be in the starting XI when then the Galaxy take on the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday. A victory in that match would clinch the Galaxy’s fifth consecutive playoff berth.
GALAXY DEFENSE SHUT DOWN MARCO DI VAIO AND MONTREAL IMPACT ATTACK
Montreal Impact forward Marco Di Vaio has terrorized MLS defenses this season en route to a league leading 19 goals, but on Wednesday, a youthful LA Galaxy defense kept the Italian and the rest of the Montreal attack in check.
Throughout the match, the Galaxy back four held a deep line to prevent the Impact forward and the rest of the Montreal attackers from finding space as the Impact were whistled for offside a whopping six times on the evening . No moment was more crucial than in the 89th minute when Di Vaio had a clear chance that was whistled for offside by Referee’s Assistant Bill Dittmar.
When the deep line did not work, goalkeeper Brian Rowe bailed out the Galaxy by frequently coming off his line to clear out dangerous balls that floated into the penalty area. That wasn’t all the action that Rowe saw, however, as he was able to make two saves in the first to keep the Impact off the board.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com