Toronto FC were made to rue a slow start and costly mistakes in a big way by the Los Angeles Galaxy Saturday afternoon. Star forward Robbie Keane scored a hat trick as the Americans outclassed their Canadian opponents 4-0 on Independence Day.
“We got off to a wrong start by giving up a PK goal eight minutes in, I haven’t seen it so I don’t have an opinion, but we got off on the wrong side of it,” Greg Vanney, head coach of Toronto, said afterwards.
Keane opened the scoring just nine minutes into the contest from the penalty spot. The foul was called after Sebastian Lletget slipped behind the Toronto defence and has his heels clipped by Warren Creavalle.
The home side would tack on another goal in the 41st minute when Keane got his second of the game after he finished off a cross from Baggio Husidic.
Without designated stars Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore who are away on international duty with the USA men’s national team preparing for the Gold Cup, Toronto failed to get anything going all game and managed only three shots on target. With Galaxy starting goalkeeper Jamie Penedo also away with Panama, backup Brian Rowe had a fairly easy night in registering his second shutout of the season.
Keane would complete his hat trick in the 59th when he intercepted an attempted Justin Morrow back pass and rounded goalkeeper Chris Konopka with an open net to finish into. The goals took Keane’s season tally to six.
Lletget would get in on the act in the final few seconds of the game by roofing one past a helpless Konopka from in close to make it 4-0.
The Galaxy are now 5-0-5 in their last 10 league matches against Toronto with the last loss dating back to 2008, a 2-0 defeat at BMO Field.
With the win, L.A. moved into sole possession of third place in the Western Conference having played three extra games over FC Dallas who are in fourth. Toronto dropped down to fifth after coming into the day in third place of the Eastern Conference.
Toronto will now head to north to take on New York City FC in what is expected to be Frank Lampard’s MLS debut. L.A. welcomes the San Jose Earthquakes to StubHub Center as Steven Gerrard is also expected to make his first appearance in the league.