CARSON, Calif. – After surrendering an early goal to New England, LA Galaxy players battled a defensive-minded Revs squad amidst a torrential downpour and whipping wind to try and get the home victory for which they’d set out.
But there was one more challenge that Galaxy captain Landon Donovan said got in the way: “We certainly scored enough goals [on Sunday] to win the game. Unfortunately in all sports, it’s not just the other team you’re playing against and it makes things difficult sometimes.”
The Galaxy scored four goals but only one counted – a 39th-minute strike by Juninho – as the Revs held LA to a 1-1 draw at The Home Depot Center on Sunday. While the result was not what players had expected, the effort and grit they showed was at least pleasing.
“On the night, our team played very well,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “Obviously conceding a goal in the opening minutes put our backs to the wall and I think our team responded well. We got a goal back and probably had another goal, although the referee doesn’t agree with that. … We could have scored a bunch of goals.”
The Galaxy did, in fact, score loads of goals, but Mike Magee, Juninho and Juan Pablo Angel each had one called off. Donovan said two of the goals were rightly called off, but took issue with the third.
“The goal Mike scored was offside,” he said. “Juan's was probably offside. But we still feel we did enough to win the game.”
However, Juninho’s goal – the one that did not count, anyway – was good, Donovan insisted.
“The one that [Matt] Reis dropped, that’s not a foul,” Donovan said. “I don’t think anybody in here could claim that was a foul, including Reis. When you see his reaction, it’s pretty obvious.”
On the play in question, Beckham swung a cross to the front of the box. Reis went up for the ball, lost control of it, and Juninho knocked it into the back of the net. However, Magee was ruled to have interfered with Reis as the ball came in towards the Revolution ‘keeper. Thus, the goal did not count.
“You can’t reward the goalkeeper for dropping the ball,” Arena said. “I don’t understand that at all. Perhaps the other ones were offside. You can’t argue that. We created a number of chances but didn’t get the second goal, whether legitimate or not. We didn’t get it, so we don’t get the three points.”
The match, though, was always going to be tough given how it started. Just three minutes in, the Revs’ Marko Perovic swung a corner kick into the penalty area. The ball was cleared back to him and Perovic whipped it right back in. Shalrie Joseph headed the ball on goal and gave the Revs a stunning early lead.
Arena said the goal never should have happened.
“I don’t think we got out to [Perovic] to put him in any kind of pressure," he said. "He placed the ball back in and we should have been pushing out of the goal. We’re well aware of the player who is going to get the end of crosses – it’s [Shalrie] Joseph. We know that. It’s no secret there.”
More than that, though, the Galaxy did not do well on any aspect of the goal, he said.
“We just did a poor job on the entire play, a poor job of giving the ball away maybe 30 seconds before that that resulted in the corner kick,” he said. “We didn’t do well in the opening minutes of the game and it cost us three points.”