Donovan blast separates Galaxy from Whitecaps

LandonDonovanLAGalaxy2-VancouverWhitecaps (USA Today Sports)

By DAN KARELL

The Los Angeles Galaxy took another step forward in their quest to win a third consecutive MLS Cup.

A powerful Landon Donovan goal inside of three minutes put the Galaxy up for good on Saturday night, as him and new goalkeeper Jaime Penedo starred to defeat the Vancouver Whitecaps, 1-0, at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada. Penedo made five saves, including an incredible diving stop on Whitecaps defender Jordan Harvey late in the match.

Before many fans had even settled into their seats, Donovan hit a long-range blast to give the visitors a lead. Galaxy defender AJ DeLaGarza picked up a Whitecaps turnover and played the ball forward to teammate Robbie Keane. Keane laid off the ball in Donovan’s path, and the U.S. Men’s National Team member’s left-footed strike had eyes for the back of the net.

Penedo was first called into action just ahead of the halftime break. After watching two long-range drives from the Whitecaps go wide, Nigel Reo-Coker’s storming run and shot forced a save from the Panamanian.

In the 82nd minute, the Galaxy goalkeeper used his acrobatic reflexes to make one of the saves of the year. Off a poorly cleared corner kick, Whitecaps rookie Kekuta Manneh drilled a 35-yard shot that careened off the post out in front of the goal. Penedo, who dove to try and save the shot, quickly got up and denied Harvey his one-net shot on goal, making an incredible diving save in the process.

The Whitecaps had reason to complain when in stoppage-time, Galaxy midfielder Juninho handled the ball in his own area. However the penalty appeals from the Whitecaps players fell on deaf ears, leading to the Galaxy’s crucial road victory and a move to second place in the conference table.

Here are the match highlights:

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19 Responses to Donovan blast separates Galaxy from Whitecaps

  1. Tim says:

    Why is not one talking about this, here? This was a pretty important game in the western conference race. Plus all the controversy at the end?

  2. divers suck says:

    Just a guess, but wait a few hours….

  3. Danny says:

    I don’t see the handball, the defender was clearing the ball and it hit Juninho’s hand unintentionally. So, It wasn’t intentional contact and it was in Juninho’s interest for the ball to be cleared cleanly.

    • john Lowe says:

      Juniho wasn’t even looking at it. Unintentional for sure.

    • @boriuano says:

      unintentional or not, that doesn’t matter. Juninho had his hand stretched out too far which makes it a clear hand ball.

      • Increase says:

        I wouldn’t call that an unnatural position….

        Would have been rough considering his own team was trying to clear it…

      • T C says:

        Good no-call by the ref. You’ll never get a handball call in that manner.

      • Eric B says:

        “unintentional or not, that doesn’t matter”.

        Lol, it absolutely matters since the LOTG themselves mention the word “intentional”. If he had his arms out in an unnatural position, that would indicate intent.

        I kind of know what you meant but never say intent doesn’t matter when talking about “handball”, you just like a typical ignorant fan…

  4. Chupacabra says:

    Vancouver’s strategy: shoot the ball at a Galaxy player, appeal for a handball.

    Glad the ref didn’t fall for it.

  5. drew11 says:

    Looks like the Galaxy found a keeper.

  6. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    how can anyone who knows the game let alone announcing it call that a hand ball? never is an unintentional handball a handball. never. read the rule book. he wasn’t even looking at the ball. the ball played him. period.

  7. Drew_OC says:

    Think the headline should talk about Penedo’s save. Just as important in this game.

  8. Gary Page says:

    Looks to me like the Galaxy are hitting their stride. They got sloppy in the midfield toward the end, but over all they played very well. At times they can move the ball around faster than anyone else in MLS, IMO. The other promising thing for Galaxy fans was their defensive organization. They played very well and didn’t have any late defensive lapses like in the past. The western conference is really tough this year, but the Galaxy may have enough to repeat as champions. With RSL, Portland, and Seattle, it will be a real dogfight. It may be tougher to win the conference than the championship.