CARSON, Calif. (AP)—Missed opportunities almost cost the Los Angeles Galaxy a loss before an unlikely source provided the heroics.
Noonan, who entered as a substitute, scored his first goal for the Galaxy (3-3-1). It came following a failed clearance with seconds remaining in the game.
“You’re always proud as a player of a team that comes from down,” Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said. “We were down but we were able to come back tonight.”
Noonan, acquired during the MLS Re-Entry Process in December, had played sparingly during the first six games. He said he couldn’t remember the last time he scored a goal of such importance.
“It’s always nice to contribute,” he said. “If we could have won the game, that would have been nicer.”
Brek Shea opened the scoring for Dallas (3-3-3), converting a penalty shot in the 61st minute.
Robbie Keane failed on his own penalty attempt in the 47th minute for the Galaxy. The Irish striker stepped up in place of Landon Donovan and missed badly to the right, one in a long line of failed Galaxy chances.
The Galaxy moved extra attackers forward in hopes of getting the equalizers after falling behind. When it appeared that they had run out of time, Noonan’s goal gave them new life.
Dallas was unable to clear the ball though a group of opposing players. Chad Barrett received the ball and laid it off to Noonan for a strong finish in the middle of the box.
“I thought we should have come out on top,” Shea said. “But they did a good job fighting to get the point.”
The Galaxy were in great position to break a scoreless tie in the 47th minute. Beckham played a perfect ball down the right side to a streaking Donovan. He sped his way toward goal when Jair Benitez took him down from behind.
Donovan, who had taken the Galaxy’s last 20 penalty attempts dating to 2007, surprisingly stepped aside to allow Keane a chance to get back into a scoring rhythm. But Keane’s shot never was on line.
“I told Robbie I wanted him to take it,” Donovan said. “He did everything right, he just mishit it a little bit.
Shea had little trouble with his penalty shot, coming after forward Blas Perez was tackled in the box by Galaxy goalkeeper Bill Gaudette. The 22-year-old Shea has scored the last three goals (two on PKs) for Dallas, which despite the letdown earned its first road points of the season.
Gaudette turned in a fine performance in his first MLS start in 5 1/2 years. Starter Josh Saunders missed the game to attend to personal matters.
Gaudette stopped four Dallas shots, including three strong saves in the opening half.
“It was seamless,” said Donovan about Gaudette play in net. “That Bill performed on short notice was great.”
The Galaxy were not at a loss for scoring chances in the first half but failed to convert.
Just over 10 minutes into the game Donovan ran past the last Dallas defender with only goalie Chris Seitz to beat. Donovan dribbled around Seitz in the box and had an open look on net but hit right post with his shot.
Keane had a promising opportunity late in the half, sending a shot from 7 yards that required a strong save by Seitz. Donovan later had a second look from point-blank range, but his rushed shot went directly at the goalie.
Noonan, for one, wasn’t concerned with the lack of finishing.
“Sooner or later they are going to go,” he said. “And when they do, they floodgates are going to open.”
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