Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Donall Farmer/INPHO The captains lead their teams out at Tallaght Stadium.
# Prodigal Son
Lacklustre affair in Tallaght as Keane fails to shine on homecoming
6,000 fans showed up to Tallaght Stadium to see LA Galaxy defeat Shamrock Rovers 1-0.

LA GALAXY ENDED their week in Ireland with a 1-0 victory over Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium in a game conspicuously short of talking points.

The pre-season friendly had all the hallmarks of just that as neither team got out of third gear with two weeks still to go until the start of their respective league campaigns.

Some 6,000 fans showed up to see Robbie Keane on his return to area he called home for the first 15 years of his life but will have left disappointed at his lack of involvement throughout the 90 minutes.

Galaxy’s captain loitered on the periphery and rarely received the kind of service that helped him rack up 19 goals for the MLS Cup champions last season. On the couple of occasions he was put through with a pass of any quality, the 34-year-old didn’t appear to have the legs to outpace his marker.

Galaxy strike partner Alan Gordon had the better of the chances but was guilty of some poor finishing.

Pat Fenlon and Bruce Arena Donall Farmer / INPHO Managers Pat Fenlon and Bruce Arena shake hands. Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Right on the stroke of a first half which seriously lacked goal action, the visitors were rewarded for their superior possession with the only goal of the game — Mika Vayrynen saw his drilled shot deflect in off Rovers defender Max Blanchard. Keane was on-hand to left fly if the Finnish trialist didn’t get there.

Mika Varynen scores the first goal of the game as Robbie Keane looks on Donall Farmer / INPHO Mika Vayrynen scored the opening goal with Keane close by. Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

The second 45 minutes proved equally as poor and a raft of substitutions on both sides won’t have helped the cause.

A minute before the final whistle, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena provided Keane with a special moment by substituting him in an act that received the biggest cheer of the evening.

And that summed up the night — a fitting occasion for a legendary figure of Irish sport but an utterly forgettable one in terms of the football produced.

A trip down memory lane for Keane as Ireland captain returns to where it all began

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