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LA Galaxy vs. New England Revolution: Score, Grades, Reaction from MLS Cup Final

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterDecember 7, 2014

Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today

LA Galaxy 2-1 New England Revolution (after extra time)

Landon Donovan's swansong with the LA Galaxy ended in triumph, as fellow veteran Robbie Keane scored the winning goal to beat the New England Revolution at the StubHub Center in California and claim the MLS Cup.

This was the last professional game for Donovan, a former United States international, and he clearly wanted to end to his glittering career on a winning note.

Local boy Gyasi Zardes appeared to have helped him achieve that goal with his 52nd-minute opener.

But New England Revolution refused to read the script, and Chris Tierney sent the final into extra time with a 79th-minute equaliser.

Keane had not enjoyed the best of matches for the Galaxy, but with nine minutes remaining in extra time, he found space in the area to fire past Bobby Shuttleworth and win the title for Donovan and his team-mates.

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 07:  Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy plays against  the New England Revolution and the Los Angeles Galaxy during the 2014 MLS Cup match at the at StubHub Center on December 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Donovan's final match nearly began with a dream start, as Robbie Rogers almost broke the deadlock within the opening 80 seconds of the game. The left-back pushed forward before playing a neat one-two with Donovan to open up space in the New England area. But the Revolution defence got back in numbers, and Scott Caldwell cleared.

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The Galaxy settled more quickly into the game in the opening 10 minutes, as New England looked disjointed in their play.

But Revolution forward Charlie Davies provided a threat with a 14th-minute run, which Marcelo Sarvas did well to block.

Keane almost opened up the New England back line in the 18th minute, but his smart cross from the left-hand side of the penalty area could not find a team-mate.

New England found some joy on the counter-attack, however, and Davies set Teal Bunbury away in the 19th minute before the chance was cut out.

Keane then found time and space for himself, but his driven effort was straight at the torso of Shuttleworth in the Revolution goal.

Davies threatened once more at the other end of the field as he chased down on goal, but A.J. DeLaGarza committed himself well to the challenge and prevented the striker from finding the net.

Adam Serrano @AdamSerrano

24' I've been saying it all year...A.J. DeLaGarza is the best defender on his team and one of the best in #MLS. #MLSCup #LAGalaxy

Keane squandered an opportunity for the Galaxy just after the half-hour mark when he failed to spot Zardes free on the far side of the area and blasted wide instead.

Donovan got behind Andy Farrell in the final minute of the first period, but there was no Galaxy team-mate on the end of his cross. The United States legend was then booked for a foul on A.J. Soares.

A disjointed first half came to a close, as noted by ESPN's Taylor Twellman:

Taylor Twellman @TaylorTwellman

Sloppy 1st half with a couple decent moments but that was it. #MLSCup #LAvNE

Donovan was on the receiving end of a late tackle by Jermaine Jones early in the second half, but referee Mark Geiger opted to give the German-born USA international a warning instead of a yellow card.

The game was opening up more now, and Revs midfielder Lee Nguyen should have done better in the 51st minute when he found himself inside the Galaxy area, although there were unsuccessful claims for a penalty.

That missed opportunity took on further relevance just a minute later. Stefan Ishizaki swung over a cross, which deflected off Chris Tierney to the far post where Zardes collected, saw off the challenge of Farrell and fired the opening goal past Shuttleworth.

Grant Wahl @GrantWahl

Killer for New England to have Nguyen's golden chance (penalty?) go missing and then have LA go up 1-0 at the other end.

Farrell joined Donovan in the referee's notebook in the 62nd minute for bringing down the goalscorer Zardes.

Keane cleverly left a ball for Donovan on the edge of the area. But the Galaxy midfielder could not get any power behind his shot, and Shuttleworth held comfortably.

Moments later, Keane rounded Jose Goncalves. But instead of seeing the overlapping Donovan, he chose to fire a weak shot at goal, and Shuttleworth predictably stopped the effort with ease.

Then with 11 minutes remaining, New England fan Tierney made himself a hero to his fellow supporters. Revolution substitute Patrick Mullins chased down a long ball over the top before sliding the ball to his team-mate, and Tierney fired past Jaime Penedo.

Joe Tansey @JTansey90

You can thank Patrick Mullins for that goal. He had a better impact in 5 min than Davies had in 70. #MLSCup

Pared Virtual @ParedVirtual

Video | Gol de Tierney https://t.co/HDLUd6NW7u

At the other end, Shuttleworth was grateful to Goncalves when the defender cleared his fumbled save from Ishizaki's shot.

In the 85th minute, Bunbury almost sent the New England fans into raptures when his floated effort from a Nguyen backheel struck the crossbar.

Nguyen looked to be struggling with an injury, and New England head coach Jay Heaps switched him for Andy Dorman in the final minute of normal time.

Referee Mark Geiger added four minutes of injury time. But the teams remained level, and the final eventually moved into extra time.

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

Meanwhile, LA has made two changes. Dan Gargan and Alan Gordon are on for Robbie Rogers and Stefan Ishizaki.

Keane was booked early in extra time for a foul on Jones, summing up his subpar day to that point.

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was forced into a further change in the 97th minute when Juninho withdrew through injury and Baggio Husidic came on.

Jones found himself with some space in the 100th minute, but his shot at the Galaxy goal flew wide.

Moments later, Jones played a ball into the path of Mullins, and the substitute forced a great save from Penedo.

Dorman gave away a free-kick on the edge of the area when he handled a Keane shot, and Donovan sent the set piece just over the bar.

Then in the 111th minute, the Galaxy took the lead once more. A great ball over the top set Keane free inside the area, and the former Liverpool and Tottenham striker placed the ball beyond Shuttleworth to make it 2-1.

Paul Carr @PaulCarrTM

Robbie Keane is the oldest #MLSCup goalscorer ever (34 years and 152 days), passing Frankie Hejduk (34-110).

New England were granted an additional three minutes of injury time to find a second equaliser, but despite piling forward, the Revolution could not turn around the scoreline.

And the day belonged to Donovan, Keane and the Galaxy. 

Selected Player Ratings

Landon Donovan: A-

The late first-half caution will not have been what the retiring star wanted, but the occasion affected him as much as it did many other players.

Charlie Davies: B+

He ploughed a lone furrow up front for New England and chased everything he could to build on his semi-final heroics but needed to make himself more of a target.

Robbie Keane: A-

Keane showed some intuitive running but also lacked composure in front of goal on a number of occasions. And his decision-making was suspect at times. This wasn't one of his best performances, but few will remember that after his winning strike.

Chris Tierney: A

Tierney was arguably the star of the show for New England and deserved better than to be remembered for failing to track Keane for the winning goal. He was full of running and always ready for defensive duties. Tierney deserved his equaliser for New England, which was brought about by an energetic run from the player.

What's Ahead

The MLS season is now at its end, and both clubs will use the coming months to prepare for the next campaign.

The Galaxy will look at a replacement for the retiring Donovan, while both clubs will recognise the need for squad strengthening with the league expanding to include teams such as New York City FC and Orlando City.

Post-Match Reaction

Tim Howard @TimHowardGK

Congrats to the @LAGalaxy. Way to go out as a champ @landondonovan!!!

John Harkes @johnharkes6

Thank you @landondonovan for entertaining us all these years & elevating the game to new heights @LAGalaxy @ussoccer #inspiring

Arlo White @arlowhite

Robbie Keane with the deadly finish. Donovan gets his storybook ending. @LAGalaxy are the first to 5 #MLS Cups. Congratulations to them.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Landon Donovan ends his career as a champion, like a few other all-time greats have in the past: http://t.co/LaDF7P8hiz

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