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Drilling down on: L.A. Galaxy 2, at Colorado 1

2011 MLS Cup - Houston Dynamo v Los Angeles Galaxy

CARSON, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Josh Saunders #12 of the Los Angeles Galaxy acknowledges the fans prior to the 2011 MLS Cup at The Home Depot Center on November 20, 2011 in Carson, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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Man of the Match: There was a lot of good defending out of the Galaxy midfield, especially considering the elevation of DSG Park, which is never an easy go for visitors. But it was goalkeeper Josh Saunders who secured the points at the end, saving a stoppage time penalty kick and handling all the hopeful, high stuff Colorado played into the Galaxy 18 toward the end.

Packaged for take-away:

  • This one nearly got very controversial. Referee Ramon Hernandez thought he saw a penalty kick foul as David Junior Lopes came together in stoppage time with Andre Akpan. From the referee’s angle it did appear as though Lopes went barreling into the Rapids substitute forward. But replays showed Hernandez definitely got that one wrong.
  • Galaxy players were livid; David Beckham was chief engineer on the Livid Express, gesturing wildly at Hernandez.
  • No matter. Omar Cummings was having a brilliant match, probably his best outing of 2012 for the Rapids. But his poor shot, and his shot at being the big Saturday night hero in Denver, had no chance to beat Saunders.
  • Does anybody like the short, slow approach to a penalty kick? Anybody besides Cummings, that is?
  • The Galaxy have won three in a row at DSG Park.
  • You just know Bruce Arena was about to blow a fuse in the 8th minute of stoppage time, as his team was clinging to that slim lead. Word from the sideline was of five minutes of stoppage time, although getting that contentious penalty kick situation sorted out did take a couple of minutes.
  • Beckham has responded to his second half benching three weeks ago with two productive matches. His free kicks Saturday, as usual, were causing all kinds of trouble. One of them, a cleverly disguised, pinpoint ball into Mike Magee, turned into L.A.'s opening goal.
  • Colorado veteran Jeff Larentowicz collected a first-half yellow card for dissent, so he really must be smarter. At his position (holding midfield), he needs the ability to take the occasional professional foul. Collecting a silly booking really is beneath him.