Home MLS Vancouver Whitecaps Wonder goal from Donovan is enough to give Galaxy a win over the Whitecaps

Wonder goal from Donovan is enough to give Galaxy a win over the Whitecaps

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A quick goal from Landon Donovan propelled the visiting LA Galaxy to a 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps in front of 21,000 at BC Place Saturday evening.

Latching onto a loose ball after Andy O’Brien and Johnny Leveron both moved toward Robbie Keane in the third minute, the U.S. international powered a laser of a shot into the top left side of David Ousted’s goal in what would turn out to be game winner.

“It was just a super finish,” centre back O’Brien said after the match. “He’s sort of 20 yards out – outside the 18-yard box and to hit it so well with his left foot – it’s decided the game. I think we deserved more out of the game, but that’s the way it is.

“Sometimes a bit of brilliance like that separates winning and losing.”

It was more than just Donovan’s brilliance that separated the sides though – the play was brought about as a result of a Matt Watson giveaway within Vancouver’s half.

“We can’t give away balls in the middle and give away chances to a guy like Donovan like we did in the first half,” Ousted said. “We’ll get punished and we got punished today.”

Despite the loss, the Whitecaps generated several opportunities of note, none better than in the 82nd minute, where Jaime Penedo made a wonderful save off Jordan Harvey from close range.

The Panamanian was on the left side of his goal after diving across to attempt to save a Kekuta Manneh effort which hit the post, but somehow scrambled back across goal to dive to his right and pull off what is surely a save-of-the-season contender.

“Kekuta hit a great shot off the post,” Harvey told reporters following the game. “I was just waiting for some sort of rebound if it didn’t go in. It was just out of reach, so I had to lunge for it – I was actually surprised I got a toe to it. It bounced down to me and I got whatever I could on to it. There was someone coming on from the back and then the goalkeeper just came flying across.”

Whitecaps goalkeeper Ousted was on the other side of the pitch but got a good look at Penedo’s stop on the big screen at BC Place, and was impressed.

“Incredible,” Ousted said. “Probably save of the week. That was amazing how he got back on that one and a really, really great save.”

The Whitecaps had to make do without star striker Camilo due a groin problem he picked up against the Colorado Rapids last weekend. He sat on the bench as an unused substitute due to the issue. In his place, Darren Mattocks made his first start since May 11.

“He didn’t really train through the week,” head coach Martin Rennie said of Camilo’s lack of involvement. “But we thought he would be OK to play in this game, and then yesterday it felt like he couldn’t play 90 minutes, but he could play off the bench. But today, it didn’t really feel as if he could play at all.

“So that’s disappointing and obviously in a game like that today, where it’s really tight, a player like Camilo is someone who could make a difference, who could perhaps get us a goal. The key thing is he’s not going to be out for long.”

As a result of this defeat, the Whitecaps drop to 10-9-6 and outside of the Western Conference’s top five. They return to MLS play next Sunday against Chivas USA at BC Place.

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