November 1, 2012
Galaxy deal knockout blow to Whitecaps
CARSON, Calif.—The LA Galaxy survived an early scare and rallied to defeat Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-1 in Thursday night’s Western Conference knockout match at the Home Depot Center.
|Landon Donovan has hinted he will step away from soccer after the MLS Cup playoffs, but he guaranteed the LA Galaxy at least 2 more games by scoring the game-winning pk against Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Thursday’s knockout match.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Both Galaxy goals, by Mike Magee and Landon Donovan, came within a four-minute span of the second half. The defending MLS Cup champions had spent much of the match to that point on their heels, after Darren Mattocks staked the Caps to a 1-0 lead in the third minute.
The ‘Caps seized the early advantage against the run of play, when Matt Watson got a step or three on Galaxy midfielder Hector Jimenez and charged down the wing before cutting the ball back to Mattocks, who beat goalkeeper Josh Saunders with a sharp, low shot into the right inside netting.
The Whitecaps quickly retreated back into their shell and, aided by a career performance from goalkeeper Brad Knighton, kept their sheet clean until the 69th minute. David Beckham chased a bouncing ball deep into the right side of the penalty area, and accidentally kicked Vancouver’s Jay DeMerit in the face. The Whitecaps defender bounced right up and returned to the play, but apparently was injured. Beckham found Juninho with the ensuing short corner, and the Brazilian centered the ball to Magee, whose right-footed volley knotted the score at 1-1. Seconds later, DeMerit was replaced by Martin Bonjour, who had been on the field less than a minute when he fouled Donovan to set up the winning penalty kick.
The victory sends the fourth-seeded Galaxy through to a conference semifinal set against top seeds and Supporters’ Shield winners the San Jose Earthquakes, beginning Sunday at the HDC.