LA Galaxy end Portland Timbers’ MLS unbeaten run
Los Angeles (AFP) – Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes scored early goals and the Los Angeles Galaxy ended the Timbers’ nine-match unbeaten streak with a 2-1 Major League Soccer victory in Portland.
Zarek Valentin scored for reigning MLS Cup champions Portland, who lost veteran defender Nat Borchers to what looked like a left ankle injury in the first half.
Despite the injury absences of midfielder Steven Gerrard and defender Ashley Cole — who missed his fourth game with a sore hamstring — the Galaxy struck early to stretch their MLS winning streak to four games.
Keane struck first, heading in Giovani dos Santos’ cross in the seventh minute. It was Keane’s seventh goal in 10 matches this season.
Four minutes later Emmanuel Boateng and Jelle Van Damme set up Zardes, who doubled the lead to 2-0.
The Galaxy have 34 goals this season, matching FC Dallas for the most in the league.
Zarek Valentin pulled one back for Portland in the 41st minute, taking a pass from Darlington Nagbe and beating Galaxy keeper Brian Rowe with a right-footed shot.
The Timbers had several more chances, including Nagbe’s point-blank shot that he fired high in the last 10 minutes.
In Eastern Conference action, Didier Drogba’s hat trick and a goal from Ignacio Piatti lifted the Impact to a 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union in Montreal.
Piatti contributed to all three of Drogba’s goals.
At the 19-minute mark, Piatti worked a pretty give-and-go with Ambroise Oyongo, who hit Drogba with a perfect cross at the right post. Drogba converted, giving the Impact a 1-0 lead.
On Drogba’s second goal, Piatti beat two Philadelphia defenders and after his shot was denied by Union keeper Andre Blake, Drogba seized the deflection and fired home a right-footed shot.
Piatti fed Drogba for his third goal, 12 minutes into the second half.
Chris Pontius scored at 72 minutes for the Union, who were playing their third match in seven days and were without suspended midfielder Ilsinho.
Piatti tacked on a goal in the 87th minute and Matteo Mancosu added one more in injury time.
In Toronto, Sebastian Giovinco ended an eight-game MLS scoring drought with three goals to help Toronto FC notch a 4-1 win over DC United.
Marco Delgado added a first-half goal for Toronto and Jared Jeffrey scored for DC United.
Two of Giovinco’s goals were off free kicks in the first half and his third goal came in second-half stoppage time.