Robbie Keane frustrated after LA Galaxy allow two separate leads slip away vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
The Galaxy captain, who believed his 77th-minute goal should have been worth three points, said the result felt like a defeat.
“You can't go up five minutes to go and lose the game,” he said on the club's postgame broadcast. “There's no point in speaking about the two goals that we scored, because it's pointless if we go away from home and play the way we played, how well we played, and then concede goals like we conceded. It's schoolboy, under-12s kind of stuff.
“You work your socks off to keep the ball, make things happen, come to a tough place -- a very, very tough place -- the field is not great, difficult to play on, but we made it good, and then we give two sloppy goals away.”
LA intiially went ahead through Stefan Ishizaki's header in the 38th minute and again from Keane's fourth goal of the season, but sloppy play at the back cost them mightily.
Darren Mattocks slotted home from an abrupt angle for a 67th-minute equalizer that was made possible by center back Leonardo and goalkeeper Jaime Penedo failing to adequately communicate, and Kekuta Manneh netted a superb goal in the 86th to split the points after a poor decision by Marcelo Sarvas left him with the space he needed.
Mattocks' goal was more troubling. A Steven Beitashour ball over the top got past Erik Hurtado and was rolling toward the net. Leonardo tried to shepherd it for Penedo, but he was shouldered aside by the Whitecaps' speedy striker just as the 'keeper arrived.
Penedo slid into the ball, it ricocheted off Leonardo and toward the end line, where Mattocks was able to line up his shot.
“Just a mistake,” coach Bruce Arena told reporters in Vancouver. “Mistake in communication, and we knew on this [hard artificial] surface you have to be smart. The ball spinning and skipping, you've just got to be safe and put the ball up the field or out of play.”
That had been hammered into the Galaxy defenders all week, that they couldn't afford to take chances on the surface. Had Leonardo cleared the ball out of bounds, or had Penedo raced more quickly off his line to boot the ball, there would have been no trouble.
- Get more LA Galaxy postgame reaction at LAGalaxy.com
“We worked really hard this week. We even practiced on turf one day to make sure that stuff didn't happen,” backline leader Omar Gonzalez said on the Galaxy's postgame show. “We knew what to expect.”
Manneh scored after Beitashour found Mattocks on the left edge of the box, and Sarvas moved over to double the pressure on him rather than hold his spot a few yards in front of Manneh. It offered reminders of last year, when the Galaxy conceded 22 goals from the 75th minute on, costing them 15 points, the Supporters' Shield, plus opportunities to advance in the CONCACAF Champions League and MLS playoffs.
“We have to snap out of that fairly quickly,” Keane told reporters. “Last year we conceded so many goals [in] the last 15 minutes of games, it was ridiculous. We have to make sure that doesn't happen again. Today was one of those days. Take nothing away from [Manneh], it was a great strike, but we shouldn't have been in that situation in the first place. ...
“This feels like a loss, to be honest with you. That's how I look at it. I don't see it as a draw. It feels like a loss to me.”