Robbie Keane was unusually rusty, but the LA Galaxy still managed to earn the shutout and the victory Friday night vs. the Houston Dynamo at the StubHub Center.
#LAGalaxy XI: Rowe; DLG, Steres, Van Damme, Romney; Husidic, Larentowicz; Dos Santos, Gerrard, Zardes; Keane#LAvHOU pic.twitter.com/vgqVzJafqF— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) July 16, 2016
For the first time in 2016, the Galaxy fielded the same starting lineup in consecutive games. And yet, LA struggled to get on the board against a organized and determined Houston side.
Robbie Keane appeared to get the Galaxy off to another early lead when his chip attempt inside the box hit the arm of David Horst, but his approach on the penalty kick wasn't convincing, and with Willis guessing correctly, Keane slotted his shot wide of the right goalpost.
Robbie Keane is now 13/18 on penalty kicks in regular season play. #LAvHOU pic.twitter.com/aCTrvl22tg— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) July 16, 2016
To the Dynamo's credit, despite sitting back they were able to consistently squeeze out half-chances throughout the match, but Brian Rowe was always up to the task.
LA were dangerous, they just couldn't finish. In the 30th minute, Keane hustled to the end line and crossed a looping ball for Giovani dos Santos, and Santos did well to find Zardes at the far post, but he couldn't bring his header down and the attempt was high.
Gio did absolutely brilliantly to draw two defenders outside the box before finding Gyasi at the far post again, and Zardes expertly squared a beautiful ball across the goalmouth, but Robbie Keane just couldn't get there in time.
A visibly frustrated Robbie Keane rifled an open look from point-blank range in the 65th minute, and Galaxy fans could be forgiven for thinking it wasn't their night.
But a minute later, LA would finally have the breakthrough. Robbie Keane got on the end of a long ball with just goalkeeper Joe Willis to beat, and though he shot into the legs of Willis, Gerrard raced through the area to bury the rebound home.
Right place, right time! https://t.co/8ZBfOig2Ev #LAvHOU pic.twitter.com/c6uXHtOYhO— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) July 16, 2016
The Galaxy next battle the Sounders in a pivotal U.S. Open Cup matchup Wednesday night.