Galaxy rallies past Portland, 3-1

Galaxy rallies past Portland, 3-1
Galaxy forward Robbie Keane celebrates after scoring one of his two second-half goals against the Timbers on Saturday afternoon. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Time and again the Galaxy attacked the goal, and came up empty-handed, in the first half of regulation play against the Portland Timbers on Saturday.

But during the four minutes of stoppage time added to the first half at StubHub Center, Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes finally broke through with a goal that tied the score, 1-1.


That was the momentum boost the Galaxy needed as Robbie Keane then scored twice in the second half, including on a penalty kick, to give the Galaxy a 3-1 victory over Portland.

It was the first time this season that the Galaxy (9-4-6) had come back to win after its opponent scored first, and the first time the Galaxy scored three goals in consecutive games. The Galaxy defeated the Seattle Sounders, 3-0, Monday.

"It gives us confidence and gives us six points, most importantly," Galaxy forward Landon Donovan said of the two victories.

"It feels good to play well but the most important thing is we're getting results," Donovan said. "We're scoring goals when we get the chances and we're limiting chances the other way."

That didn't seem quite the case in the first half, however. While the Galaxy struggled to finish scoring chances and get the ball past 6-foot-4 goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, the Timbers (6-7-9) took the early lead.

A foul against the Galaxy gave Portland a free kick in the 14th minute and midfielder Diego Valeri converted from 27 yards, driving the ball over the wall of defenders and beyond the diving reach of goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

But the Galaxy pulled even in stoppage time when Robbie Rogers passed the ball from the far edge of the 18-yard box to Zardes, who was racing toward the goal. Zardes jumped and headed the ball into the net from four yards.

It was the eighth goal of the season for Zardes, a 22-year-old Hawthorne native in his second season with the Galaxy.

"I feel like my confidence level is rising but that's due to my teammates," Zardes said. "They're constantly talking to me and helping me play better. They're constantly in my ear."

Keane scored with a header inside the six-yard-box in the 73rd minute after taking a pass from Donovan.

In the 81st minute, midfielder Juninho was knocked down by Portland midfielder Diego Chara at the top of the 18-yard box and the Galaxy was awarded a penalty kick. Keane took the kick from 12 yards and lined it past Ricketts for the Galaxy's third goal.

Keane has a team-leading 12 goals.

The Galaxy said Keane and defender Omar Gonzalez were removed from the Major League Soccer roster for the league's All-Star game against Bayern Munich on Wednesday. The Galaxy plays San Jose two days later.

But Donovan, selected to the All-Star game for a record 14th consecutive year, remained on the roster.


Twitter: @PeltzLATimes