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Keane proves fitness as Galaxy fight off Henry's Bulls

Robbie Keane played 89 minutes last night as the LA Galaxy beat the New York Red Bulls 2-1 (3-1 agg) in California.

Image: Jae C. Hong/AP/Press Association Images

THE THOUSANDS OF LA Galaxy fans packed into California’s Home Depot centre weren’t the only ones with something to smile about last night.

With the game won and their team’s progress to Sunday’s Western Conference final assured, an unharmed Robbie Keane departed to huge applause on the stroke of full time — and Giovanni Trapattoni breathed a huge sigh of relief.

The Republic of Ireland captain showed signs of a promising return to form throughout his new club’s 2-1 win over Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls last night.

Keane, who said on Wednesday that he felt fit enough to last the full 90 minutes, was given an opportunity to back up his talk with action last night. And, much to the relief of all concerned, he was true to his word.

And while Trapattoni and Galaxy boss Bruce Arena will be happy just to see their man return to action ahead of a pivotal period for both club and country, it could have been even better for the Tallaght native.

Twice in the first half, Keane came close to drawing his side level after Henry had played Luke Rodgers in for the game’s opening goal with just four minutes played.

And but for the respective interventions of the post and Red Bulls keeper Frank Rost, the striker would have had the third goal of his Galaxy career.

In the end, it mattered little as David Beckham orchestrated Mike Magee’s equaliser three minutes before the break and then won the penalty which allowed Landon Donovan to wrap up the win 15 minutes from time.

Those goals sealed a 3-1 win on aggregate and set up a Western Conference final date with Real Salt Lake on Sunday.

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Niall Kelly

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