FRISCO, Texas — Playing without two of their three big stars, the LA Galaxy produced a fine defensive display and rode a second-half Mike Magee goal to a 1-0 win over FC Dallas on Saturday night in front of a record crowd of 22,565 at FC Dallas Stadium.
Magee, who hadn’t appeared in a match since July 4, scored his fifth goal of the season, and third in his last five matches.
However, all of the pregame intangibles seemed to favor Dallas, particularly considering their 5-0 drubbing of Portland last week and the fact that the Galaxy arrived without Landon Donovan and David Beckham. The visitors were winless playing without Landon Donovan this season.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
But LA executed their game plan to perfection.
The Galaxy’s central midfield duo of Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho hounded David Ferreira all evening, not allowing the Colombian to build on his two-assist performance last time out. Keane and Magee were given the offensive burden and they produced, linking up to score the game-winner.
In a cagey first half played in triple-digit temperatures, neither side was able to gain much of a foothold. Robbie Keane nearly gave LA the lead in the 35th minute, after latching onto a Magee through ball and rounding goalkeeper Kevin Hartman. But Colombian defender Hernan Pertuz — who had his best performance since arriving in Dallas — slid in to clear the ball off the line.
That became a theme as time after time the LA front duo came within inches of scoring in a span of dominance. But it wasn’t until the 62nd minute that the Galaxy finally got the goal they deserved.
Keane controlled a bouncing ball at the top of the box and flicked it over a defender to Magee. The FC Dallas defense chose to not close down the winger, expecting him to play a give-and-go with Keane. Instead, Magee curled a shot round a defender and into the lower corner.
OPTA CHALKBOARD: Keane's impressive passing
LA are now 7-2-1 since the start of June, unbeaten in four road games and showing the form that won them the MLS Cup last season. They next face Real Madrid in an Herbalife World Football Challenge match at The Home Depot Center Center on Aug. 2.
FC Dallas now find themselves in an extremely tough situation, 11 points behind LA for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Plus, they head on the road for four of their next five matches, including an Aug. 5 clash in Portland on the NBC Sports Network.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Robbie Keane (LA)||In the absence of other "big-timers," ran the offense like an Argentine #10|
|2||Hernan Pertuz (DAL)||A monster in the back, making more than his fair share of defensive stops|
|3||Mike Magee (LA)||Made the difference with the goal on a cheeky finish to the lower corner|