A pair of late penalties from Robbie Keane has given Los Angeles Galaxy a 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer (MLS).
The Galaxy held onto their berth in the MLS’ Western Conference play-off positions with a victory over the Crew after Bernardo Anor looked to have put Columbus on track for victory with his 78th-minute header.
But LA were able to win for the first time this season after conceding the opening goal, when Keane converted from the spot twice in six minutes.
Keane’s first penalty came in the 85th minute on Thursday with the Irish
striker side-footing the ball into the bottom corner after Galaxy substitute Jose Villareal was upended by Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.
After Keane hit the bar three minutes later, LA wrapped up victory in the first minute of stoppage time, with Anor going from hero to zero.
As a cross came in from the left, Anor pushed Keane in the back as he went for a header and the 32-year-old Irishman notched his seventh goal of the season, again converting his spot kick down low past Gruenebaum’s left hand.
The win took LA back to fourth spot in the Western Conference, pushing Colorado Rapids out of the top five despite the latter’s 2-0 victory over New York Red Bulls.
Colorado overcame the Red Bulls thanks to second-half strikes from Nathan Sturgis and Deshorn Brown, which kept Montreal Impact top of the Eastern Conference table.
Montreal had to fight back to secure a 3-3 draw in their Canadian derby against Toronto FC but with the Red Bulls losing to Colorado, the Impact increased their lead in the Eastern Conference to two points.
The Impact stunned the home side in the opening minute when Andres Romero scored after just 22 seconds, lifting the ball over Toronto goalkeeper Joseph Bendik, before smashing it home.
But Toronto had a 3-1 lead at half-time with New Zealand striker Jeremy Brockie scoring his first goal for the club to equalise in the sixth minute, before a header from Steven Caldwell and a powerful drive from Darren O’Dea put the home side in control.
Montreal looked on track for consecutive losses for the first time this season until they managed two goals in as many minutes in the second half.
Hassoun Camara notched the first when he thrashed the ball into the net in the 69th minute after Toronto had failed to clear their defence, before Marco Di Vaio equalised with a smart close-range finish with 20 minutes left.
The Impact lead the Eastern Conference with 30 points with New York second on 28.
Real Salt Lake have a three-point gap at the top of the Western Conference after a 2-2 draw against Philadelphia Union, while second-placed FC Dallas were held to a scoreless draw at home by Chivas USA.
In other MLS results, Chicago Fire defeated San Jose Earthquakes 3-2, Sporting Kansas City drew 1-1 with Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders overcame DC United 2-0.