LA Galaxy vs. New England Revolution: Final score 2-1, Robbie Keane does it in OT
Robbie Keane was having a regrettable afternoon. And then he wasn’t.
The newly crowned MVP added another MLS Cup trophy to his remarkable season, scoring the game-winning goal in overtime to lead the LA Galaxy to a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution on Sunday. It was Keane’s third MLS Cup and the Galaxy’s record fifth. The Revolution, too, made a bit of history by becoming the first team in major North American sports to lose five times in the title game without winning. This was the third time the Galaxy had beaten the Revolution in a final, all of them in extra time.
On the winning goal, Keane was able to get behind the defense — being kept onside by Revolution defender Chris Tierney, who has scored the regulation equalizer — on a wonderfully weighted ball for Marcelo Sarvas. Keane was all alone with Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth and easily found the back of the net.
Until then, Keane had been struggling he had a couple quality looks that went wanting and generally looked all kinds out of sorts. It ended up not mattering.
The Galaxy got off to a blazing start when Robbie Rogers was able to almost walk in a goal in the 2nd minute. But after freeing himself up in the box, Rogers took a little too long and had it tackled away by Andrew Farrell.
The Revolution were similarly wasteful about 20 minutes later when Charlie Davies got behind the Galaxy defense. A.J. DeLaGarza was able to chase him down, though, and make a last-second tackle to keep it scoreless.
The two sides played it relatively conservative over the next 30 or so minutes, but it started to open up in the 51st minute. That’s when Lee Nguyen got himself an open look in the box, but instead of shooting with his left, he pulled it back to get it onto his dominant right foot. That gave the defense chance to recover and clear it away.
Just a minute later, Gyasi Zardes made the Revolution pay. Stefan Ishizaki’s cross deflected off a defender and Zardes collected it about six yards out. Zardes fought off the defensive efforts of Farrell and blasted a left footed shot inside the far post for a 1-0 lead.
The Galaxy had a great chance to extend their lead in the 70th minute when Robbie Keane got out on the break. His shot was almost directly at Bobby Shuttleworth and the Revolution’s hopes survived.
That set up Tierney’s heroics. Second-half substitute Patrick Mullins got out on the left wing, cut it back and found the Boston-area native all alone inside the penalty area. His first touch took him past Leonardo and Tierney blasted his shot low and through Jaime Penedo for the 79th minute equalizer.
The Revolution nearly grabbed the lead in the 85th minute, only to see Teal Bunbury’s chip attempt hit off the crossbar. The miss was made doubly painful by Nguyen grabbing his calf with an apparent cramp, forcing him out of the game a few minutes later.
The Galaxy were forced to deal with their own injury woes in overtime. That’s when Juninho was forced off with an apparent leg injury, making way for Baggio Husidic in the 97th minute.
Mullins had one more chance to become a Revolution hero, getting a good look in the 103rd minute only to have a well-taken shot stopped by Penedo.
Galaxy lineup: Penedo; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Rogers (Gargan 91); Ishizaki (Gordon 91), Sarvas, Juninho (Husidic 97), Donovan; Keane, Zardes .
Goals – Zardes 52, Keane 111
Revolution lineup: Shuttleworth; Farrell, Soares, Gonçalves, Tierney; Caldwell (Kobayashi 58), Jones; Rowe, Nguyen (Dorman 90), Bunbury; Davies (Mullins 72).
Goals – Tierney 79
1. The league MVP did not look like it, but it didn’t matter: This was not a great performance from Keane, not by any stretch. He was wasting chances, missing open teammates, generally looking unlike his MVP self. But he kept getting chances and that last one was just too good to miss. Keane took it well and that’s probably all anyone will be talking about.
2. Pity Tierney: The Revolution player who had been with the team longer than anyone else. The Boston-area native who said he cried the last time the Revolution lost in a final. The left back who scored the equalizing goal. He was the guy who mindlessly kept Keane onside and that’s probably how people will remember him in this game. That’s not fair, of course, and bigger and more important Revolution players had much worse games, but that’s how it goes.
3. Let’s give it up for Landon: No, he didn’t have a huge impact on the game, not really deserving much mention in the run of the game, but he goes out a champion. This was the sixth time he’s won the MLS Cup. Keep in mind there have only been 19 played all time and he only played 14 MLS season. Those six MLS Cups are a record, fitting nicely alongside all his other ridiculous accomplishments.