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BRUCE ARENA HAILED Robbie Keane as the in-form player in America as the Republic of Ireland skipper propelled the LA Galaxy into the MLS Western Conference finals.
Keane struck twice in the first half as the Galaxy overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit against the San Jose Earthquakes and took another step closer to defending their national title.
Mike Magee also scored to seal a 3-1 win on the night, sending Keane, David Beckham, Landon Donavan and company through 3-2 on aggregate.
“Robbie’s a great player,” Galaxy coach Arena said. “Since he’s come back from the European Championships he’s been the best player in the league. He scores big goals.”
Keane, who was not included in the Ireland squad for next week’s friendly against Greece, opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when he rifled a low shot past Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch from outside the box, levelling the tie on aggregate.
And the Dubliner doubled up 12 minutes later, rounding Busch after he had been played in by Donovan.