[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 BeckhamandJuninho 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.