It wasn't the best effort from either side, but the New York Red Bulls were able to pull out three points with a stoppage time goal by Tim Cahill on a long Juninho free kick. However, that opportunity for a late winner was won over ninety minutes by some excellent defense; most notably from Jamison Olave.
According to ESPN, Bruce Arena told his players at halftime that there were too many passes near the box and not enough shots. The shot selection supports that argument, with just three of the Galaxy's nine attempts on the goal coming from within the box. It wasn't until after Zardes came in, when Jimenez had a shot blocked inside the box at the 76' mark, that LA had a shot from inside the penalty area.
The energy Gyasi Zardes brought to the proceedings turned a lackluster match up a few notches in the last half hour. Taking on his marker like he was standing still, Zardes put together the Galaxy's best attempt of the match at the 77' mark which took a great save from Luis Robles to keep out. Zardes also fed Robbie Keane a cross at the 89' that Keane headed just wide for the other solid attempt on goal.
Otherwise the Galaxy were stymied by Jamison Olave and his twelve interceptions and twelve recoveries. He was all over any fifty fifty balls, and stopped Zardes from another solid attempt inside the box by getting the slightest of touches on the service.
Carlo Cudicini came up yelling after Tim Cahill gently directed Juninho's long free kick over Cudicini's arms. However, on a ball that he saw coming all the way, Cudicini needed to go up and get a hand on it. Cudicini's lack of decision making ultimately left him flat footed when the ball came in over his head.
That sequence cost LA a point, but of bigger significance was being in a position to give the match away in stoppage time. Losing Juninho to a right shin injury in the 10' significantly held back the Galaxy attack which had Hector Jimenez and Rafael Garcia on the same side of the pitch for much of the match. Both players are solid defensively, but their distribution leaves something to be desired. LA were already missing Mike Magee who sat with a right ankle injury.
Injuries, however, are part of the sport. The combination of Zardes, Donovan, and Keane was able to pick things up toward the end. It just didn't quite work out exactly as the team would have wanted. Three points over a three match road trip isn't awful, but it certainly isn't what the Galaxy wanted either.
Next up: vs. Sounders, 8pm PDT at The Home Depot Center