Despite taking an early lead on the
road, the Portland Timbers couldn't overcome a late second-half surge by host
LA Galaxy, conceding two goals inside the final 20 minutes in a 3-1 loss before
20,089 fans at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., on Saturday afternoon.
Forward Robbie Keane tallied a second-half brace, including a penalty-kick goal in the 85th minute, as Portland sustained its first loss against the Galaxy since 2012, snapping a five-match unbeaten streak against the Western Conference side.
Midfielder Diego Valeri netted a goal for a third consecutive match for the Timbers (6-7-9, 27pts), providing Portland with a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute. Midfielder Gastón Fernández sustained a foul nearly 25 yards from goal, setting up a direct free kick which Valeri skillfully skimmed over the four-man defensive wall and into the upper-right corner of the goal for the early lead.
The Galaxy (9-4-6, 33pts) drew level in first-half stoppage time as forward Gyasi Zardes connected on a header from close range following a cross from left back Robbie Rogers. The goal was Zardes' eighth of the season and second in as many matches.
Saturday's result marked just the second time Portland has lost after scoring the opening goal since 2013 and only its second loss in the last eight road matches.
Keane delivered the go-ahead goal for the Galaxy in the 73rd minute, slipping midfielder Landon Donovan into the left side of the box with a through pass before peeling his run toward the back post. Donovan delivered a left-footed cross that Keane converted with a point-blank header just inside the far right post.
Minutes prior to the Galaxy taking the lead, Portland saw a chance for a penalty kick waived off by the referee in the 66th minute. Midfielder Kalif Alhassan beat Rogers into the box for a pass and was taken down, but the referee waived play on.
Portland was whistled for its league-leading ninth penalty kick when midfielder Juninho was fouled on the edge of the penalty box. Keane converted the spot kick to complete his brace in the 85th minute.
Release from Portland Timbers