CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Robbie Keane converted two penalty kicks in the closing minutes, rallying the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew on Thursday night.
Keane beat Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum to the lower right corner in the 85th minute and again in the second minute of stoppage to give the Galaxy (8-7-3) just their third win in their last eight matches.
The Galaxy outshot Columbus 23-8, but were struggling to take advantage of chances.
“We fought hard to try to win the game and were fortunate to capitalize on two penalty kicks,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “On the night, we played OK, but we can certainly be accused of not finishing our chances and putting ourselves in poor position, which certainly happened. We just had to battle and try to create some chances at the end, and we were fortunate to get a couple calls out of it that made a difference.”
Bernardo Anor put the Crew (5-8-5) on the scoreboard in the 78th-minute, heading Federico Higuain’s free kick from near midfield and looping the ball from the top of the box into the upper-right corner.
Referee Sorin Stoica called Gruenebaum for tripping Jose Villarreal in the box for the first penalty, and Anor was whistled for knocking down Keane as he awaited a cross for the second. The Crew disagreed with both calls.
“Unfortunately for us, the referee called it,” Columbus coach Robert Warzycha said. “From my point of view, it’s difficult to judge. What I can tell you is (Gruenebaum) said he didn’t initiate contact, then on the second penalty (Anor) said he was just going for the ball. The referee called both of them, and that’s the game, unfortunately.”
Dominic Oduro nearly scored for Columbus in the 88th minute, but Todd Dunivant cleared it off the goal line, and Keane struck the crossbar for the Galaxy moments later.