The Los Angeles Galaxy are now unbeaten in eight straight home MLS matches after Saturday afternoon’s dominant 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers on NBC.
Diego Valeri’s early free kick goal for Portland was matched by Gyasi Zardes’ header before half, while Robbie Keane added his 11th and 12th goals of the season in the second half to key the victory.
Los Angeles moves into second place in the West, five points back of Sporting KC.
Portland continues to fall short of expectations, still three points back of the final playoff spot despite playing the West’s most matches.
Valeri’s free kick goal looked especially strong, but replays showed that a deflection off a jumping Stefan Ishizaki may’ve fooled L.A. keeper Jaime Penedo. Nevertheless, it was 1-0 Portland on what would turn out to be its only shot of the first half.
It was Zardes who would equalize for the dominant Galaxy, stinging a header past Donovan Ricketts after Robbie Rogers work at outside back continued to make Bruce Arena look like a genius.
And what a cross Rogers sent in for Zardes to smash.
It was 1-1 at half, and here’s what we were saying.
The second half saw Portland put together some solid counter attacks, and Kalif Alhassan missed two beautiful chances to put the Timbers back on top.
And then… Keane struck, capping off a beautiful set of passes that ended with Donovan’s picture-perfect cross to the Irishman, who darted in front of Will Johnson to send a diving header home.
Keane tried an overhead kick that was captured by Ricketts in the 79th minute. The forward was a problem in the box all day and continues to assert himself as an MVP candidate, later converting a penalty kick to double the Galaxy’s advantage.
LA Galaxy: Penedo; Gargan, Gonzalez, DeLaGarza, Rogers; Ishizaki (Husidic, 60′), Sarvas, Juninho (Hoffman, 86′), Donovan; Keane, Zardes
Goals: Zardes (45+3), Keane (73, 85)
Portland Timbers: Ricketts, Jewsbury, O’Rourke, Ridgewell, Harrington (Villafaña, 77′), Johnson, Fernández (Alhassan, 24′), Chara, Valeri, Urruti (Adi, 59′), Wallace
Goal: Valeri (14)