CARSON, Calif. – Pat Noonan scored a dramatic stoppage-time equalizer as the LA Galaxy salvaged a draw against visiting FC Dallas, with the Western Conference rivals tying 1-1 at The Home Depot Center on Saturday.
FC Dallas held a 1-0 lead in the second minute of stoppage time when Noonan slipped a ball into the left corner of the net. The goal canceled out Brek Shea’s 61st-minute penalty kick.
Neither team had its starting goalkeeper available – Chris Seitz started for the third consecutive match in place of Kevin Hartman as FC Dallas’ stalwart ‘keeper missed another match with back spasms. Josh Saunders, meanwhile, was out due to personal matters, leaving Bill Gaudette to make his first-ever Galaxy start.
Early on, FC Dallas seemed intent on testing Gaudette. Twice in the first minute, the visitors had shots but neither attempt was on frame. Landon Donovan, meanwhile, broke free in the 11th minute and got around Seitz but rattled a shot off the right post.
Seitz kept the Galaxy scoreless with two stellar saves just before the intermission. In the 42nd minute, Seitz turned away Robbie Keane from close range after Keane had gotten free inside the box. One minute later, the Galaxy had a scramble in front of the goal on a corner kick and Seitz sprawled out and pounced on the ball just as it was about to cross the goal line.
Just four minutes into the second half, the hosts were awarded a penalty kick after Jair Benítez hauled Donovan down from behind inside the penalty area. However, Keane stepped up to take the penalty kick instead of Donovan. The Republic of Ireland captain sent his attempt wide, though, as the Galaxy failed to take advantage of the opportunity. It was the first time since June 2007 that a player other than Donovan took a penalty kick for LA.
The visitors took the lead on the hour after being awarded a spot kick of their own. Gaudette took down Blas Pérez inside the box and picked up a yellow card for his trouble. Shea stepped up and buried the attempt as Gaudette barely moved, and FC Dallas went up 1-0.
The Galaxy had several late opportunities, including a Beckham free kick from 20 yards out that sailed high and wide, but were unable to get closer until Noonan’s stoppage-time winner. After a few passes inside the penalty area, Noonan collected himself and placed the ball into the left corner of the goal.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||George John||Defender shut down Robbie Keane and the Galaxy forwards throughout the game.|
|2||Chris Seitz||Hoops 'keeper made two clutch saves at end of first half to keep LA scoreless, little he could do on equalizer|
|3||David Beckham||The distribution and work rate that we've come to expect from the Englishman, not to mention his sublime ball that set up the Galaxy penalty|