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Beckham and Juninho rescue Galaxy, Arena fumes
by Paul Kennedy, August 24th, 2012 1:48AM

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TAGS:  concacaf champions league, los angeles galaxy

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[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] The Concacaf Champions League has often been an adventure for the Los Angeles Galaxy, and Thursday's opening game of the 2012-13 edition was no different. The Galaxy fell behind El Salvador's Isidro Metapan in the 17th minute at the Home Depot Center and later lost Irish star Robbie Keane to a red card, but it got big games from David Beckham and Juninho  to prevail, 5-2.

Nicolas Munoz's fourth goal in two games put Metapan ahead in the 17th minute, but within five minutes the Salvadoran club, missing four players denied visas, gave up two goals on Beckham crosses, the first put into the Metapan goal by its own defender, Ricardo Alvarado, and the second headed home by Keane.

Beckham curled a corner kick into the Metapan net for the third goal on the stroke of halftime, and Juninho finished things off with two late goals.

Coach Bruce Arena was not a happy camper at evening's end, though.

“It’s a game we could have won by a larger margin, for sure,” he said.

But the Galaxy coach leveled most of criticism for Mexican referee Alfredo Penaloza, who sent off Keane in the 70th minute.

The Irish striker was cautioned for diving after he went down outside the Metapan penalty area, then issued a second yellow after he jumped up and signaled he wanted no more part of the game.

“The referee missed the call,” Arena said. “And, typical, we’ve seen in these competitions, the referees think they’re bigger than the game itself. And they’ve got to put themselves ahead of everything. I don’t know, Robbie spoke, said something, whatever. But when a referee misses a call like that, he’s got to be big enough to kind of ignore it and let the game go on.



9 comments
  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: August 24, 2012 at 7:39 a.m.
    I watched the game, and can only comment in a xenophobic reality manner. Mexican referee, American team. Until CONCACAF can fix the situation, there will be no justice. There was no dive, but an obvious stomp on RKs foot, and there was no "showing up the ref", just a frustrated player wanting out of the match. Until American officials start Red Carding players from south of the border teams, and calling bogus penalties in droves, there will be no justice.

  1. DonJuego Lee
    commented on: August 24, 2012 at 8:06 a.m.
    Remonstrating with large gestures? Wagging your finger at the ref? Making gestures that you want out and don't want to play because of the ref? None of that is showing up the ref? The diving call was bad. Keane's antics were worse and deserving of a red card. It is these prima-donna DPs for LA that think they are bigger than the game. I say this as one who was rooting for LAG last night.

  1. Kevin Jones
    commented on: August 24, 2012 at 8:07 a.m.
    Hey Bill, shut up. There is no bias. The red was deserved. Quit your whining. Galaxy would have lost if Metapan's players were given visas. galaxy should thank their lucky stars.

  1. Matthew c. Stewart
    commented on: August 24, 2012 at 8:10 a.m.
    The refereeing in these CONCACAF matches is often a joke, almost always bad, once in while competent. That's as good as it gets and it doesn't get that good very often. AR couldn't get offside/onside calls right last night--some were tight, some weren't--I mention it because this is a frequent problem in these matches. Weak teams (especially on the road) indulge in diving, obvious time-wasting, milking minor injuries, exaggeration. When they inevitably get down by a goal or two, it is not uncommon to see the kicking and scissoring begin. While I concede that this amateurish and cowardly "strategy" is ultimately the responsibility of the players, managers and clubs who choose to use it, none of the bad and unsporting behavior is properly managed by game officials, who, if they were competent, could do a lot to maintain the tone and integrity of the match.

  1. Bob Escobar
    commented on: August 24, 2012 at 8:27 a.m.
    Especially in America...in the youth, high school, college and professional level, the referees are absolutely terrible....and yes, some of the CONCACAF refs are also terrible. Robbie Keane didn't deserve the first yellow card, but he should've gotten up and not "act" like an asshole, waving his finger, screaming like a little b.itch and wanting to leave the field, like many primadonnas do in the MLS, he should have gone on with the game....all the referee did was, help RK get off the field. The score should've been 10-2, I guess the Salvadoran team was missing players, but who cares....what matters is the way Arena is making it a BIG deal, small coach, BIG complainer.

  1. Ernest Irelan
    commented on: August 24, 2012 at 8:57 a.m.
    did not see the game, but, do agree with Escobar, the officating in the US stinks from youth the pro ranks...I have seen so many times, refs do not call pk's in games just because they think it will change the game...well, pk is a pk..it is not a judgemental call from the ref as to what affect it has on the game. Deliberate fouls to prevent a counter attack, etc..an no way playing the ball...no card? wuz up wit dat?? all these antics stall the game, result in uncalled for injuries, spoil the flow of the game...soon, it will be like basketball an take 30 min. to play the last 1 min of a game....

  1. chris Kennedy
    commented on: August 24, 2012 at 3:08 p.m.
    The league needs to recognize just how biased the refereeing throughout North, Central and South America. The call was horrible the Keane stomping his feet was terrible and none of this helped the game. One of the benefits of TV is we can now see that this is especially bad throughout Central America whether or not the USA is involved. Mexico is adjusting their refereeing and player attitude as must we all otherwise we will always be considered second rate

  1. Allan Lindh
    commented on: August 24, 2012 at 4:23 p.m.
    All things considered, I thought this ref was better than average for CONCACAF, and the Cuban ref the night before for the Dynamo game was even better, IMHO. However, this is a matter in which Paul Gardner is spot on -- giving a card because you think the guy "might" have dived is very bad practice. Should never be called unless you're damn sure -- clear daylight between the foot and leg. Should be called by disciplinary committee after the fact, using video, and if the evidence is unequivocal, three game suspension. That will put an end to it pronto. Can't be called reliably in real time on the field, nor can "tripping" in many cases that leads to PKs, but that's another argument.

  1. John DiFiore
    commented on: August 25, 2012 at 3:56 a.m.
    Bad call? Yes. But as an avid LAG fan, I say to Keane: "Welcome to CONCACAF!" It's not as easy as most europeans want to believe..


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