The Los Angeles Galaxy were seven minutes away from becoming the third MLS team to win a CONCACAF Champions League game on Mexican soil when a goalkeeping gaffe and a dubious call by the referee transformed a 1-0 lead into a 2-1 loss last night at Estadio Morelos.
LA went ahead in the 52nd minute after Landon Donovan found Robbie Keane with a great long ball on a counterattack, and the Ireland captain skinned a defender before blasting a shot in at the near post. (Fifteen minutes later, Keane nearly made it 2-0 with an outrageous lob from midfield that Morelia keeper Ricardo Villar scrambled to tip over the bar.)
In the 83rd, Galaxy backup keeper Josh Saunders, who had made several excellent saves to that point, bungled a 22-yard shot from Adrian Aldrete, allowing the ball to slip under his body and just barely cross the line to make it 1-1.
Los Angeles went back in front in the 90th minute, when Keane swept in a rebound that had ricocheted off of Villar and a Morelia defender—but the officials called Keane offside and waved off the goal. Replays (see below) clearly showed that Keane was onside at the time the ball was played toward goal.
Two minutes later, Miguel Sabah headed in a corner kick to give the hosts a last-gasp winner.
Right here for the highlights:
The result leaves Morelia and Los Angeles tied atop Group A with 2-1-0 records. The Galaxy travels to Costa Rica to take on Alajuelense next week while Morelia plays Motagua in Honduras.