CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Robbie Keane hit the right post and Landon Donovan had three opportunities inside the Portland box as the Los Angeles Galaxy settled for a 0-0 draw with the Timbers on Wednesday night.
Portland (6-1-9) extended its unbeaten streak to 14 matches with its third shutout in the last four.
Los Angeles (6-6-3) had given up eight goals in its previous two matches — losses at New England and Real Salt Lake — and has struggled while surrendering late, decisive goals all season.
“I thought we defended well, for the most part,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “I’m not sure Portland had a whole lot of chances tonight. That was good. At the other end of the field, I think their center backs played well, and (goalkeeper Donovan) Ricketts was going to be difficult to beat. This was going to be a game where we had to jump on any kind of opportunity that we got, and we were half a step off most of the night.”
Keane’s glancing header in the 55th minute, which bounced through the goalmouth and off the right post, was the best scoring chance in a game that featured superb ball movement through midfield by both teams but little effective penetration and scarce opportunities to break the deadlock.
Donovan had all of his three chances in the first half, with all coming on through balls from Keane, but Timbers defender Pa-Modou Kah made stops in the box each time — with sliding tackles to deny the shot in the 41st and 44th minutes. Fellow center back Andrew Jean-Baptiste made a big stop in the 75th minute, cutting off Gyasi Zardes’ cross headed for Keane at the left post, and Ricketts made a big stop on Colin Clark in the 77th.
The Timbers, who had scored 10 goals in their past five games, accomplished little against an L.A. defense led by A.J. DeLaGarza in the back and supported by Juninho’s and Rafael Garcia’s tenacious work in midfield. Goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini was rarely challenged and easily stopped a 30-yard first-half blast by Darlington Nagbe, Portland’s best opportunity.
“It was a defensive game tonight. Both teams defended very well,” said Keane, who returned to the Galaxy lineup after missing a couple of games while with Ireland’s national team. “I don’t think both teams had any chances, really. Maybe half-chances. All in all, I think a draw was probably a fair result.”