Donovan's goal salvages tie for Galaxy in ColoradoApr 26, 2009 - 6:10 AM COMMERCE CITY, Colorado (AP) -- Landon Donovan made sure the Los Angeles Galaxy would not give another three points to the Colorado Rapids.
Donovan scored in the 82nd minute as the Galaxy salvaged a 1-1 draw against the Rapids on Saturday night in chilly Colorado on Saturday night.
Edson Buddle started the play with a blistering shot from 18 yards that was parried by Rapids goalkeeper Preston Burpo. Chris Klein got to the rebound on the right side and sent in a low, hard cross to the middle, where Donovan was unmarked and beat Burpo from just outside the six-yard box to provide the Galaxy (0-1-4) the draw.
"The goal was a gift," Rapids coach Gary Smith said. "Ugo (Ihemelu) made a dreadful mistake."
It was the first goal in four matches at Dick's Sporting Goods Park for the Galaxy since it opened in 2007.
After controlling the pace for most of the match, the Rapids (2-2-2) were left to lament another defensive lapse that cost them a potential win.
"The biggest problem for us will always be mistakes that offer opponents opportunities," Rapids coach Gary Smith said.
Colin Clark scored Colorado's lone goal in the 60th minute when he took a pass from Omar Cummings, beat Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
"When the goal was scored, the game had just started to open up a little bit." Smith said. "It came at a good time, but sadly we didn't manage the game well.
"We took far too long for us to get in our strides. L.A. made life difficult, but it is our job to break them down and create opportunities."
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena used a different defensive strategy after the Rapids had won 3-2 at Los Angeles on April 4, opting for a more defensive approach after his team pushed forward early. The Galaxy took seven first-half shots on goal, and midfielder Dema Kovalenko came close with an attempt in the 29th minute that went wide.
Klein also had his header off Donovan's corner kick in the 47th minute hit the crossbar.
Even with a focus on defending, the Galaxy had trouble containing Clark and Cummings, who had a quality chance stopped by Ricketts in the 55th minute before assisting on Clark's tally.
"He scored a good goal, a good pass by Omar and once he turns and gets into his left foot, we were at his mercy," Donovan said.
The game also featured a bizarre moment in the 73rd minute, when referee Alex Prus issued a red card to Dunivant, but rescinded it after speaking to his assistant.
"I have never seen a red card rescinded and it was a debacle," Smith said. "The referee had ample opportunity to consult the linesman before he shows the red card. I have never seen a group of players convince a referee to take advice from somebody that he didn't want to."
Donovan obviously thought otherwise.
"They got to the ball at about the same time," Donovan said. "Todd (Dunivant) he got his foot on it, so I give the referee a lot of credit for swallowing his pride and getting it right."
LOS ANGELES 1
COLORADO 1 FINAL
Apr 25 11:35 PM
- MLS UPDATE
LOS ANGELES 1
LOS ANGELES GOAL: Landon Donovan in the 82nd minute
Galaxy 1, Rapids 1 2nd - 82'Apr 25 11:22 PM
- MLS UPDATE
LOS ANGELES 0
COLORADO GOAL: Colin Clark in the 59th minute
Galaxy 0, Rapids 1 2nd - 59'Apr 25 10:57 PM
LOS ANGELES 0
COLORADO 0 HALFTIME
Apr 25 10:24 PM
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