Keane gets Galaxy 2-0 win over Quakes in debut

August 21, 2011, 4:57 am
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Aug. 20,2011MATCHSTATS MATCHEVENTS
MLSSCOREBOARD EARTHQUAKES PAGENicholas Rosano
CSNBayArea.com
Many times this season, the Earthquakes have shot themselves in the foot. On Saturday night against the Los Angeles Galaxy, though, they were undone not by any particular mistakes of their own, but by the fact that the Galaxys star-studded lineup simply had too much quality. It was an unfortunate result. We did a lot of right things tonight, Earthquakes defender Jason Hernandez said. I think the story of the game is you see the quality of players they have. The Galaxy featured a strong lineup, featuring not only known quantities in the shape of David Beckham and Landon Donovan, but also new addition Robbie Keane, all three on Designated Player contracts. The Republic of Ireland international threatened from the start, and it didnt take long for him to get onto the scoresheet. After seeing two breakaway chances stopped short for offside, the 31-year-old Keane burst through the Earthquakes defense in 21st minute after collecting a looping pass from Beckham and taking the ball past Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch, leaving him with an easy finish. They are three quality players, said Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop, on facing the Galaxys trio of stars. Any time you have three players of that caliber on the field at the same time you are going to be a pretty dynamic team. The Earthquakes did have their own chances to get something out of the game, especially with the score at 1-0 until the 90th minute, when Mike Magee finished off a well-worked Galaxy move to put the game beyond doubt. Due to various injuries and suspensions, Yallop was forced to field a lineup with Rafael Baca, naturally a winger, and Ramiro Corrales, naturally a left back, in the center of midfield. Khari Stephenson, normally a midfielder, partnered Chris Wondolowski up front and had the first good chance of the game early on saved by LA goalkeeper Josh Saunders. From then on, though, the Earthquakes lacked consistency and chemistry in the midfield for most of the first half, allowing Beckham and Donovan to pull the strings with relative ease, the period during which Keane netted the opener. After the goal, though, the Galaxy took their foot off the gas, allowing Baca and Corrales some room to work. In fact, the Earthquakes ended up edging the game statistically, putting six shots on target compared to the Galaxys two. However, none of the shots provided Saunders with a serious challenge, highlighting the Earthquakes continued toothlessness in front of goal throughout the summer months. Its a tale of finishing chances. They finished theirs and we had some good chances, but unfortunately we didnt finish ours, Busch said. I thought we played well again tonight, but in the end we didnt get anything out of it. That aspect is frustrating because it has been that way a lot this season where we have done the right things and havent gotten a just result. The loss sent the Earthquakes to their 12th straight winless game, prolonging a franchise record.. During the streak, though, the team has scored in just four of its games, with eight teams posting shutouts against them. Bearing that in mind, with just nine games remaining in the season, the Earthquakes will be looking for some improvement from their offense. New signing Edmundo Zura could be the help the team is looking for, and he made his debut in the 71st minute after joining the team in Los Angeles and passing his medical after a whirlwind week. While Zura wasnt able to make an immediate impact, it could be his presence in the lineup that the Quakes will look for to avoid a repeat of Saturdays defeat.For more Earthquakes, MLS and world soccer musings, you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano