VANCOUVER, B.C. -- The Vancouver Whitecaps conceded early to Landon Donovan and couldn't find a way back Saturday evening at BC Place, falling 1-0 to the LA Galaxy.
Banging home just three minutes in, Donovan fired the Galaxy into the ascendancy following a poor pass from midfielder Matt Watson, whose ball went straight to A.J. DeLaGarza.
The Galaxy fullback then sent a ball in the direction of Robbie Keane, who drew both of Vancouver's central defenders – Andy O'Brien and Johnny Leveron – with him. That allowed Donovan freedom to get off a shot on goal unmarked when Leveron poked the ball free.
“It was just a super finish,” center back Andy O'Brien said. “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.”
The Galaxy had a bit of brilliance of their own between the sticks as well, as Jaime Penedo pulled out an incredible save to deny Vancouver an equalizer in the 82ndminute.
Kekuta Manneh came close with a shot from outside the area which ricocheted off the right post, which Penedo lunged for. The goalkeeper then somehow recovered and managed to spring across to the right side of goal and prevent left fullback Jordan Harvey from scoring a rebound effort.
“Kekuta hit a great shot off the post,” Harvey said. “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.”
With the result, Vancouver tumbles to a record of 10-9-6. Next Sunday the Whitecaps play host to the lesser of LA's soccer lights, Chivas USA, at BC Place.