MONTREAL—An opportunity for the LA Galaxy to extend their nine-game unbeaten streak literally slipped through goalkeeper Brian Rowe's hands.
Despite goals by Giovanni dos Santos and Mike Magee, the Galaxy lost for the first time since March 12 after Rowe was unable to hold onto a stoppage-time Didier Drogba free kick as LA lost to the Montreal Impact, 3-2, at Stade Saputo on Saturday.
"I knew his capabilities for free kicks," Rowe said. "I knew lining up there at the end of the game he was just going to try to make it knuckle, make it dance, put something on frame, and I was just trying to track it, just lost it for a sec."
The Galaxy had three wins and five ties since a 1-0 loss at the Colorado Rapids in their second game of the season.
"It's definitely a frustrating one," Rowe said. "It's one where – as a goalie – you don't want to have that type of influence on a game, one way or the other. You just want to do your job and not try to get any of the credit, either bad or good, so it's definitely a difficult one to swallow. I thought we worked well tonight. The guys showed a lot of fight. In some moments, we broke down, but we were able to stay in it until the end and that's just one I've got to finish out."
Rowe's teammates were squarely behind their goalkeeper.
"Some of the guys came up to me and just told me to keep my head up," Rowe said.
Galaxy midfielder Nigel de Jong acknowledged that Rowe's error came at a crucial time, but chalked it up to a tough learning experience.
"That's part of the game," de Jong said. "You've got to make mistakes to learn as well, so he made a mistake that cost us three points but we're in it together. We lose together, we win together."
And coach Bruce Arena made it clear that he felt the loss hardly hung completely on Rowe's shoulders.
"Very disappointing, not only the mistake at the end of the game, I thought on the night we played pretty poorly," Arena said. "It's a game where we could have left here with some points, a point or three points. We played poorly and we deserved what happened in the end."