There was no shortage of goals or drama at the Home Depot Center on Thursday night. The LA Galaxy and Isidro Metapan combined for seven goals, saw Robbie Keane get sent off for asking to be subbed off and generally spent 90 minutes running around like chickens with their heads cut off just to better entertain us*. In the end, things went the way of the home team as the Galaxy answered Metapan's opener with four consecutive goals en route to a 5-2 win.
* Or so it is nice to think
Both teams played without a key player. For LA, Landon Donovan was the key man missing as he dealt with an injury, while Metapan continued life without Lester Blanco, who left for Norway on loan.
After the Galaxy dominated the early exchanges, Munoz shocked the home side with a 17th minute goal. A bad giveaway by Sean Franklin put the Galaxy in trouble and while Todd Dunivant did well to clear a ball off of the line, it only went as far as Munoz. The striker then fired off the inside of the post and in to put Metapan in front.
It took just three minutes for the Galaxy to equalize, though. More accurately, Metapan leveled for the Galaxy because while David Beckham did put a good cross in for Mike Magee, the ball never made it to Magee. Instead, it deflected off of Ricardo Alvarado and into the net to put the match back on level terms.
Two minutes later, a Beckham cross caused problems for Metapan again, although this time his cross did find a teammate. He hit a great ball from the right to the far post to find Keane, who snapped his header down and underneath the sprawling Fidel Mondragon.
As the first half entered stoppage time, it looked like LA would have to settle for their one-goal lead, but a late corner kick by Beckham and a mistake by Mondragon saw the Galaxy tally again before the break. The Englishman whipped in a corner that was curling in towards the net and asked Mondragon to knock it away, but the Metapan keeper couldn't do it. He got to the ball late, as it was already on the line, and could only knock it into his own net as Beckham picked up another Olimpico.
Up 3-1, LA looked to have the match in hand, but a red card to Keane changed things up. This wasn't your average red card, though. First, the referee showed Keane a yellow for a dive after he was kicked in the shins. Then while on the ground, Keane motioned to the LA bench for a substitution and the referee responded by showing him a red card. In true CONCACAF form, the referee thought Keane asking for a substitution was an act of dissent and showed him a second yellow card*, ending his day and leaving LA with 10 men.
* This same referee would go on to give Michael Stephens a yellow card before he entered the match as a substitute for time wasting because Stephens dared wait for the fourth official to tell him to go on. It was a special night.
But being down a man didn't hurt LA. 12 minutes after Keane was sent off, Juninho tapped in a pass from Stephens to put the Galaxy 4-1 up. Metapan did their best to mount a comeback and earned a penalty in the 87th minute, which Munoz converted, but Juninho added his second tally in the 90th minute to finish off a Galaxy win.
LA now sit atop Group 5 with Metapan on three points, but they have only played one match to Metapan's two. The Puerto Rico Islanders are bottom of the group on zero points, having just played one match.