Recap: LA down Melbourne on PKs to close Pacific tour

Robbie Keane - December 6, 2011

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

The LA Galaxy wrapped up an undefeated Asia Pacific tour with a penalty-kick shootout win over Australian side Melbourne Victory following a 2-2 tie in regulation at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night in Melbourne.

The Galaxy were down 2-0 in the first half on goals by Melbourne’s Carlos Hernández and Isaka Cernak. But two penalty kicks by LA’s Robbie Keane on either side of halftime equalized the contest for the visitors in front of 34,608 fans.

LA's Landon Donovan struck the crossbar on the first shootout attempt by the Galaxy but the MLS Cup champions recovered after Melbourne’s Paulo Retre also struck the woodwork in the fourth round. Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders then saved Melbourne’s final kick, setting up Paolo Cardozo to clinch it with his conversion.

Melbourne’s two best players put the hosts ahead early in the first half. Hernández recovered the rebound from a blocked shot and scored on a left-footed blast from inside the box to give the Victory a 15th-minute lead. In the 37th minute, the Costa Rican turned provider, sending a through ball for Cernak, who applied a tidy finish to put Melbourne up 2-0.

The Galaxy pulled one back after the referee awarded a penalty kick for a dubious hand ball in the box in the 40th minute. Keane coolly converted and repeated the feat just minutes into the second half after another spot kick was awarded when David Beckham was taken down in the box.

LA came closest to winning in regulation with several opportunities late in the match. After Donovan barely missed on a good look at goal, Galaxy rookie Hector Jimenez struck the left post with four minutes remaining.

Beckham, who may have played his final match in a Galaxy uniform, was substituted with one minute remaining after the right hamstring injury he battled during MLS Cup flared up again.

Former D.C. United forward Danny Allsopp was in uniform for the Victory, who rested star playmaker Harry Kewell for the match.

The Galaxy close out the Asia Pacific tour undefeated after a 1-0 win over an Indonesian select team and a 6-1 thrashing of the Philippine national team.

A busy offseason awaits the champs with all eyes on the out-of-contract Beckham and whether he will return with the Galaxy in 2012.

Scoring Summary:

MEL: Carlos Hernandez 15'
MEL: Isaka Cernak 37'
LA: Robbie Keane (PK) 43'
LA: Robbie Keane (PK) 50'

PK Shootout:

Melbourne (3): Vargas (goal), Jeggo (goal), Pondeljak (goal), Retre (crossbar), Rojas (save)

LA Galaxy (4): Donovan (crossbar), Jimenez (goal), Berhalter (goal), Stephens (goal), Cardozo (goal)