MLS Cup Final 2011, Los Angeles Galaxy Vs. Houston Dynamo: LA Win MLS Cup; Beat Dynamo 1-0

It's full time at the Home Depot Center, and the Los Angeles Galaxy are your 2011 MLS Cup Champions after a 1-0 win against the Houston Dynamo thanks to a Landon Donovan goal. In truth, the match fell somewhat* short of being a spectacle - a terrible pitch (Los Angeles had seen quite a lot of rain in the hours leading up to kickoff) and an incredibly negative attitude by the visitors ensured that there was virtually no life in the match, and the attacking verve LA's star played brought to the field was rather mitigated by the Houston defence for most of the match.

The Galaxy had plenty of chances to go ahead in the first half, most of which fell to backup striker Adam Cristman, who came in for the injured Chad Barrett and made the absolute least of his opportunity to impress, missing two free headers and then not even shooting when played through by Robbie Keane. Houston only had themselves to blame for the hosts' first half dominance, though - they simply couldn't pass the ball, regularly losing possession in midfield and allowing the Galaxy to come at them in waves.

LA were going to break through at some point, given all the chances they'd been presented with, and they really ought to have broken the deadlock through Robbie Keane, who picked up an inch-perfect pass from David Beckham and sent the ball into the back of the net via Tally Hall's left leg. Unfortunately for the Galaxy, Ricardo Salazar had already blown the play dead thanks to an erroneous offside call from the linesman.

Still, a goal was going to come eventually, and it was Landon Donovan who got it after good work by both Beckham and Keane to play him in through the left. Donovan was left racing onto the latter's pass with just Tally Hall to beat, and he finished beautifully, clipping over the keeper with the outside of his right boot to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

Adam Moffat had a chance to level - probably Houston's only real scoring opportunity of the match - but completely muffed a free header (Cristmanned by osmosis?), and the Dynamo would never again threaten the Galaxy's lead. The final few minutes of the match almost saw Beckham cap off a sublime performance with a free kick goal, but Hall responded with an excellent save.

Anyway, after the dust and smoke bombs and paper cups aimed at Donovan's garguatuan forehead finally cleared, the LA Galaxy found themselves in possession of the MLS Cup. It's a well deserved win - they've been the best team in the league all season and got the job done in the playoffs to boot. Congratulations the Bruce Arena and the players for a fantastic season.

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