MLS Game Reviews August 11
FC Dallas 3 LA Galaxy 3
With both sides coming off a loss in their last outings and with the first two meeting between these two teams standing at one win apiece this was always going to be a tight encounter. It was the hosts who struck first after 15 minutes as they finally snapped their franchise record scoreless streak when centre-back Matt Hedges headed in a lose ball from a corner-kick. It looked like the hosts would take that lead back to the dressing rooms at half-time but Landon Donovan had other ideas. Latching on to a long Robbie Keane ball he headed over the advancing Dallas goal-keeper Chris Seitz before coolly taping into the unguarded net 1 minute into first-half stoppage time. 3 minutes after the restart and the home side were back in front. Substitute Michel floated a free-kick to the far post and Blas Perez was on hand to poke the ball past LA’s keeper Carlo Cudicini, despite replays showing he was in an off-side position the goal stood. The remainder of the match them turned into the Perez and Donovan show. The veteran midfielder equalised for LA on 73 minutes when his volley from just outside the penalty area was missed by Seitz and he completed his first MLS hat-trick since 2008 8 minutes from time when he beat George John to a lose ball in the penalty area before placing a shot into the far corner of the net. Just as it looked like FC were heading for another defeat up popped Perez again to grab an equaliser 4 minutes later. The visitors failed to clear another Michel free-kick and as the ball fell to Perez he unleashed a volley to rescue a point for his team, though they might of being lucky again as this time John was in an off-side position not only when the original free-kick was taken, but also on the strike by Perez but on both occasions he was judged not to be interfering in play. The point for each team was not enough to move them in the tightly contested Western Conference standings, but LA does move level on points with Seattle who hold the last playoff spot, but they have played two more games now and Dallas stay a point behind the Galaxy in seventh place.
Chivas USA 1 Colorado Rapids 1
Colorado extended their unbeaten streak to seven games after this wild encounter in California. Things did not start well for the visitors when Carlos Alvarez found the net after just 4 minutes with brilliantly shot into the top corner from a Erick Torres pass. Colorado were then handed a great chance to draw level after 28 minutes when Steven Purdy was adjudged to have handled in the penalty area, unfortunately Deshorn Brown who had netted last time out failed this time as Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy made a superb diving save to deny him. After 33 minutes the hosts were reduced to ten men when Gabriel Farfan received a straight red card for stepping on Shane O’Neill’s shin, but they managed to see it out to the break with their lead still intact. The second-half had only being in progress 3 minutes when the sides were back even at ten as the Rapids Tony Cascio received his second yellow card. Another player got an early use of the showers when after 63 minutes Tristan Bowen was given a straight red for allegedly spitting toward Colorado defender Chris Klute. That proved decisive as the visitors made the extra man pay as 10 minutes from time Martín Rivero who was introduced as a second-half replacement netted the equaliser with a glorious header. The Rapids nearly grabbed maximum points as 3 minutes from time a Vicente Sánchez header hit the crossbar but stayed out. That point keeps Colorado in the mix in the crowded Western Conference as they draw level on points with idle third place team the Portland Timbers, but knowing a win would have moved them to second and having played with a man-advantage for large parts of the game there must be a sight disappointment that this was a win that got away.
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