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Highlights: Galaxy plays to scoreless tie in Costa Rica

Mar 8, 2013, 8:05 AM EDT

Keane head shot

The LA Galaxy should be happy enough with a 0-0 result Thursday in Costa Rica, where playing Herediano to the scoreless draw in CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal action leaves the MLS side in reasonable shape for next week’s return leg.

The Galaxy back line, as A.J. DeLaGarza renewed his central partnership with Omar Gonzalez, was strong throughout. Robbie Keane pushed past a slow start at the packed Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero to ask some questions of the Costa Rican defense here and there through the night.

Mike Magee did find the net, and may have actually been onside when he scored off Juninho’s cross – although officials didn’t see it that way.

At the other end, the moment that mattered was Ismael Gomez’s 87th minute penalty kick, which banged off the crossbar. Gomez earned the spot shot on the most marginal contact from Sean Franklin. On the one hand, Franklin gave Jamaican Courtney Campbell the opportunity to make a call by reaching out for Gomez. On the other hand, Gomez clearly threw himself to the ground. And theatrically so.

Still, the Major League Soccer teams all stand reasonably well heading into next week’s second legs. Houston carries a tenuous 1-0 lead into Mexico for its return leg against Santos. Seattle is behind, 1-0, in its series with Tigres, but finds solace getting the Mexican side back into CenturyLink Field. And the Galaxy, with the weekend off of MLS action, has almost a full week to prep for the return engagements with Herediano at the Home Depot Center.

Full LA Galaxy match highlights are here:

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  1. Dan Haug - Mar 8, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    The refereeing in this match was egregious (which seems to be par for the course on away matches in Central America). There were no cards given despite some very physical play by Herediano, and the two key plays (the disallowed goal and PK call) were both decisively horrible. As a fan, it’s hard to invest in this tournament when year after year we see this type of reffing.

    That said, the Galaxy players did a very good job keeping their cool under the circumstances.

    • Steve Davis - Mar 8, 2013 at 8:45 AM

      Hard to disagree with any of that. Worst of all, perhaps: in my opinion, Courtney Campbell is among the more dependable CONCACAF refs. So ….

  2. sluggo271 - Mar 8, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    Why..why..why..are you going to pull a guys jersey while he is in the penalty area? Your begging for a foul. Why would you give a referee an excuse to blow the whistle? And in slow motion video replay he CLEARLY dived. But in real time I guarantee the referee saw the jersey being pulled and player going down. Player was smart.

    • jsmith80 - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      I watched in real time. It was completely obvious. The announcers immediately called it a dive and verbally discussed that they were shocked the experienced Campbell called for a PK. Talk about landing gear coming up. His legs folded up from the knees without his body even dropping an inch. After he missed the announcers even said, “The ball never lies”. Karma!

      Magee was seriously robbed on the offside call too. Should be 1-0 LAG. That shutout road goal would have practically sealed the deal. Now we have to win at home. A scored draw and we lose.

  3. manchestermiracle - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    This match is why I don’t see CONCACAF as an important league. Ridiculously pathetic officiating that changed the outcome of the game.

  4. bottlcaps - Mar 8, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    I do believe the officiating in such a high profile match was significantly under par. It is something that the officials in the MLS and the other leagues should address. Bad officiating harms both teams, but somehow officials feel that they can get away from bad calls against US teams as we are generally more civil in our disagreement and disparagement against the officials. Some officials after controversial matches are generally afraid for their lives.
    Remember, we are in an area (Central America) that went to WAR over a soccer match.

    The Costa Ricans fans are civil enough but given the closeness of the fans to the players and refs in this stadium and the fact that epithets and abuse are routinely thrown at the players and officials, it is easy to see how a ref can be intimidated by a crowd and it can influence his decisions,

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