LA Galaxy stars prove too good for Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght
Keane can’t quite cap homecoming with goal
Robbie Keane of LA Galaxy is challenged by Keith Fahey of Shamrock Rovers during the match in Tallaght. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
The build up to this game was a bit of a Robbie Keane road-show but the celebrated striker’s supporting cast eased the MLS champions to victory at a nearly full Tallaght stadium where Finnish international Mika Vayrynen scored the game’s only goal.
Rovers did enough to keep the Irish captain quiet but generally looked second best in what was a subdued game in which the American side generally created the better chances.
Their goal came after Keane had been put clear just before the break from a free for offside but Barry Murphy came quickly to clear the initial danger. From the throw in that followed, though, Vayrynen was left in space on the edge of the area and his driven shot took a hefty deflection off Max Blanchard that left the goalkeeper with no chance at all.
There had been little the Frenchman, currently on trial with the Tallaght outfit, could have done about his role in the goal but the Finn will be happy with his part in it as he auditions for the midfield vacancy that will exist until Steven Gerrard arrives in California in the summer.
The Dubliners struggled to pose much of a threat themselves. Goalkeeper Brian Rowe did have to punch clear of Danny North at one point and his replacement Brian Perk had to battle to hold his ground under pressure from a couple of set pieces but the best couple of shooting chances that came the way of the locals were sent well wide.
Elsewhere in the side, Keith Fahey and Simon Madden looked good going forward at times but Galaxy almost always looked that little bit better with a slightly more pace to their approach play and passing.
Keane broke free a couple of times and should really have got a shot or two away but Rovers coped well with him with Madden, in particular, winning possession then tidying up nicely after an angled ball that should have been cut out was allowed to reach the striker.
Both managers used large numbers of substitutes with Pat Fenlon also taking the opportunity to have a look at former Hibernian defender Tim Clancy over the course of the second half.
Shamrock Rovers: Murphy; Madden, Blanchard, Webster, D O’Connor; S O’Connor, Cregg, Fajhey, Brennan; McCabe; North. Subs: McPhail for Cregg, Drennan for North and Clancy for Madden (all half-time), Waters for S O’Connor (59 mins), Byrne for Blanchard and Miele for McCabe (64 minsio
LA Galaxy: Rowe; Gargan, Gonzalez,Leonardo, Rogers; Juninho; Ishizaki, Vayrynen, Zardes; Gordon, Keane. Subs: Meyer for Gonzalez (half-time), Perk for Rowe, Maganto for Gordon and Avras for Vayrynen (all 59 mins), Dunivant for Gargan (66 mins), Garcia for Juninho (74 mins), Villareal for Ishizaki (77 mins), Sorto for Rogers (80 mins), Walker for Keane (90 mins).
Referee: N Doyle (Dublin).