Determined to start the month of July on the right terms, Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy kicked at the darkness until it bled daylight. The Galaxy defeated the Columbus Crew, 2-1 at StubHub Center on Independence Day 2013 to bump their record to 8-7-3.
Here are six things we learned from Thursday night’s tilt at StubHub.
1. No goals in the first half
This was a contest that was tough to watch if you were looking for action in the first half. You know, it seems to me that this trend of quiet first halves in Galaxy games is a trend that will not go away. And it won’t go away, so long as the finish is out of the running.
2. Flattering statistics for Columbus
As you can see in this table, the Galaxy dominated a number of match statistics and had the potential to rip the game wide open, and they couldn’t get it done. Omar Gonzalez and Gyasi Zardes were two players hounded by poor finishing. And as we will see in the next thing we learned, all that poor finishing could have cost them.
|LA Galaxy||Columbus Crew|
|23||Attempts on Goal||8|
|6||Shots on Target||4|
|12||Shots off Target||3|
|27||Open Play Crosses||8|
|0||First Yellow Cards||3|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|50%||Duels Won %||49%|
|79%||Passing Accuracy %||72%|
3. Bernardo Anor, the iceman for the Crew
Bernardo Anor pulled in a solid 90 minutes in the midfield and opened his scoring account on a delivery from Federico Higuain in the 78th minute of play. At the moment, one could only wonder, was it going to happen again for the Galaxy: the trend of letting games slip away late?
4. Robbie Keane pulls one back
In the 85th minute of play, Jose Villareal was fouled inside the box after receiving a through ball from Marcelo Sarvas. Referee Sorin Stoica awarded a penalty, much to the dismay of the visitors, allowing Keane to convert and make it 1-1.
5. Keane gets the brace late
In the 91st minute, Anor became his own worst enemy when he tackled Keane the box, drawing another penalty which the Galaxy captain converted to make it 2-1 Galaxy. After holding off a last-ditch attempt by Columbus to even the score and continue the Galaxy’s trend at being the gift that keeps on giving, Santa was put back on his sleigh and the Galaxy were on their way.
6. A massive win without Landon
What makes Thursday’s result massively significant for the Galaxy is that midfielder Landon Donovan was not in action due to the Gold Cup. Los Angeles will have quite a lot of games this July to deal without Donovan in the lineup, including Sunday’s tilt with FC Dallas. But if they can finish, and they can continue to be a force in the stats, this is a team that can manage a massive absence.