Late Noonan Equalizer Saves Galaxy’s Blushes Against Visiting Dallas
By Alex Baker
(Carson, CA) – The LA Galaxy‘s return to winning ways hit another speed bump Saturday night when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by a dogged FC Dallas side that featured U.S. international Brek Shea.
Landon Donovan had two close chances and Robbie Keane missed a penalty kick before second half sub Pat Noonan found the equalizer in stoppage time.
However Dallas also missed chances to score and on the whole, the Galaxy seemed pleased to have salvaged a point.
“Happy with a point,” said midfielder David Beckham. “Obviously losing the game was a real possibility with scoring in injury time.”
Dallas has taken the lead just on the hour mark when Shea converted a penalty kick, beating Galaxy keeper Bill Gaudette, in for Josh Saunders. But the visitors might have gone up a goal as early as the first minute when an unmarked Shea received a pass inside the 18 only to blast a shot over the crossbar.
Ten minutes later Landon Donovan nearly put the Galaxy ahead when he received a through ball from Robbie Keane and rounded Dallas keeper Chris Seitz, only to send his shot rebounding off the goalpost.
“Certainly a terrific chance that hit the post,” said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena afterwards. “What can you say this is a game of inches sometimes.”
With just two minutes remaining in the first half Donovan nearly put the Galaxy on the score sheet again when he got onto the end of a rebound from a Beckham corner and fired a point blank shot that forced a dramatic save from Seitz.
“I just kind of reacted and Seitz still made a good save,” said Donovan. “He had a good night.”
The major talking point of the evening came early in the second half when the Galaxy were awarded a penalty kick after Donovan was brought down inside the area.
Donovan, who usually takes the Galaxy’s penalty kicks deferred the duty to Robbie Keane in this case, only to see the Irish national striker send his effort wide of the target.
“I just told him to take it,” said Donovan.”It’s been a little while since those guys found the back of the net. I just wanted to get him going.”
Robbie Keane himself was unavailable for questions after the match.
The home side were made to suffer for Keane’s miss less than fifteen minutes later when a poor back pass from Galaxy defender David Junior Lopez forced LA keeper Gaudette to make a tackle on Dallas forward Blas Perez. The tackle resulted in a yellow card for Gaudette and the awarding of a penalty kick to Dallas.
Shea converted clinically to put the visitors 1-0 up in the 61st minute.
Moments later Edson Buddle appeared to equalize for the Galaxy after getting on the end of long ball from Beckham and slotting it home. But the former FC Ingolstadt striker’s goal was disallowed because he had used his arm to control the ball before shooting.
Noonan’s equalizer came during four minutes stoppage time, eliciting a tremendous roar from the 23,249 fans in attendance on the night.
“It landed at Chad’s feet I think he did a nice job holding the ball up and I just gave a shout and he laid it off perfectly for me,” said Noonan. “I just tried to put it on net.”
Saturday’s draw kicks off a grueling seven days in which the Galaxy will travel north to face the Seattle Sounders midweek before welcoming the New York Red Bulls next Saturday.
“It’s gonna be a tough week,” admitted Beckham.”Especially for a 37-year-old.”
This result moves the Galaxy up third from the bottom with ten points in a competitive Western Conference currently led by the San Jose Earthquakes.