Donovan pushes Galaxy past Juventus
INT'L CHAMPIONS CUP NEWS
Landon Donovan scored the tiebreaking goal on a pass from Robbie Keane in the 60th minute, and the Galaxy beat Juventus 3-1 Saturday night in the International Champions Cup tournament.
Nobody from the Galaxy ascribed much importance to the result, but the Galaxy's fans got extra enjoyment from their club's first appearance at Dodger Stadium, the venerable 51-year-old Southern California landmark.
''Our team played well, (but) the result isn't going to change anything in this world,'' Los Angeles coach Bruce Arena said. ''We played well against a very good team, but we understand it's an exhibition. I don't want to play them when it really counts.''
Omar Gonzalez scored in the first half, and Keane added a goal in the 88th minute on a terrible turnover by Andrea Pirlo as the back-to-back Major League Soccer champion Galaxy beat the two-time defending Serie A champions in the second soccer match ever played at Dodger Stadium.
Real Madrid beat Everton 2-1 in the doubleheader's first game to advance to the tournament final.
''Especially for our players from Southern California, it was great to see the excitement in the stands while we were here,'' Arena said. ''It's a really good experience for our local players and our young players.''
Although the rest of the tournament schedule hasn't been announced, Los Angeles is expected to play in the third-place game in Miami on Wednesday night, likely against the loser of Chelsea's match with AC Milan on Sunday outside New York.
With Donovan, Keane and Robbie Rogers working in concert, the Galaxy performed splendidly for their hometown fans against Juventus, repeatedly controlling play and possession against their powerful opponents.
Alessandro Matri scored in the 39th minute for Juventus, which lost to Everton and the Galaxy in consecutive games in California this week. Coach Antonio Conte thinks the second straight loss to a theoretically inferior opponent will put his talented club on notice before the Serie A season begins in three weeks.
''It's good that this very bad loss happened during the preseason, when it doesn't matter,'' Conte said through a translator. ''We have to go back and get organized for the season. We understand we're not doing things properly, and we need to go back to the hard work that got us two championships in Italy.''
Both teams had good chances early on, with Rogers constantly causing trouble for Juventus from the wing. Los Angeles took the lead when Gonzalez left his defensive position and charged into the box, taking a pass from Juninho and chipping a goal over Gianluigi Buffon.
Three minutes later, Matri capitalized on a scramble in the Galaxy box, banging a hard shot off Brian Rowe for a goal.
Keane and Pirlo, the Italian national team star, entered the game at halftime.
Keane hadn't played since injuring his hip in a match against Portland three weeks ago, but the Irish national team captain immediately got back to top form, putting the Galaxy back ahead with a pass across the box to Donovan for a tap-in goal.
Juventus pressed in the second half, but Pirlo doomed his club with a tentative back-pass that was pounced upon by Keane, who flicked it past Buffon for the clinching score.
It's been a rough trip for the 34-year-old Pirlo, who also missed a penalty kick at the end of Juventus' loss to Everton in San Francisco.
''We need everybody to wake up, and I put myself as the first one,'' Conte said. ''We have great players, a great roster, but in these last two years, we've always gone beyond our limits with hard work and determination. We need to go back to that. They were in better shape and faster than us.''