Galaxy fall to Colorado Rapids after wonder goal


COMMERCE CITY,COLORADO (BDCi) — Vicente Sanchez’s wonder-chip and Robbie Keane’s missed penalty kick lifted the Colorado Rapids to a 1-0 victory over the LA Galaxy at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday.

Sanchez’s 20-minute chip might have been unintentional, but either way the Rapids enjoyed the three points, improving to 3-2-2 (14 points) on the season and putting them within shouting distance of Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake. LA, meanwhile dropped to 2-1-2 and Landon Donovan was left waiting yet another week to break the MLS scoring record.

Keane’s missed penalty in the 63rd minute cost the Galaxy at least a share of the points and snapped their four-game unbeaten streak, losing for just the second time all season and the first time since a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake in the season opener. The Galaxy spent the second half on the offensive, collecting several chances to equalize but came up empty.

The Galaxy nearly took the lead two minutes in, but Stefan Ishizaki’s shot from six yards out was desperately kicked off the line by Drew Moor after a series of missed clearances by the Rapids’ defense.

In the 20th, Sanchez struck with his touch of gold. Off a partially cleared corner, the wily Uruguayan chipped a ball from inside the penalty box and it lofted over Jaime Penedo and into the top corner of the net with Moor trailing closely behind. The chip shot might have been a pass, but either way, the goal will likely challenge for MLS goal of the week honors and it gave the Rapids their first first-half goal of the season.

LA however, kept on the offensive and Donovan nearly netted his elusive 135th MLS goal in the 40th minute. Keane’s terrific feed gave Donovan space in the penalty box, but at a difficult angle, Donovan pushed his shot wide of the net.

Just before the half, Deshorn Brown nearly doubled the lead for Colorado off a delightful back heel, but the Jamaican’s effort crashed off the post and Colorado went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.

In the second half, another desperate clearance from Moor kept the lead intact. The Rapids’ captain slid to keep a cross from entering the box and he toe-poked it off the post and away from danger.

A few minutes later, Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin stopped Dan Gargan’s near-range effort as the Rapids spent the second half dodging bullets. However, the biggest bullet came in the 61st minute.

Going after a 50-50 ball in the penalty box, Galaxy striker Rob Friend and Moor collided. The Rapids captain was deemed to have caught Friend in the face with a cleat – replays showed otherwise- and that led to referee Hillario Grajeda immediately pointing to the penalty spot.

On the ensuing spot kick, however, Keane pushed his low blast just wide of the goal, furthering the Galaxy’s frustrations.

The Galaxy continue their four game road trip with a showdown versus the Portland Timbers Sunday on NBC Sports while the Rapids play Wednesday night in San Jose and it can be watched on MLS Live.