Carson, CA (Sports Network) - Robbie Keane netted a pair of late penalties to lift the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew at the StubHub Center on Thursday.
Bernardo Anor had given the Crew a second-half lead, but Keane converted from the spot in the 86th and 90th minutes to lead Los Angeles (8-7-3) to 27 points on the season, good enough for fourth place in the Western Conference.
Columbus (5-8-5) remains third from bottom in the East, dropping a third straight league match to stay put on 20 points.
Scoring chances were at a premium in the first half, and the second half appeared to be heading in the same direction until the Crew broke the deadlock in the 78th minute.
Federico Higuain delivered a free kick from mid-field to the top of the penalty to find Anor, who caught Carlo Cudicini off his line and guided his header into the upper corner from distance.
But Los Angeles managed to claw its way back thanks to a couple of penalty decision in the final stages.
The first came when Jose Villarreal was tripped up by Andy Gruenebaum in the box as referee Sorin Stoica pointed to the spot, allowing Keane to convert his third penalty of the season four minutes from time.
The Galaxy came within inches of grabbing a late winner when Villarreal's square pass to Keane was slammed off the crossbar by the Irishman. The ball immediately bounced down and back into play before the Crew cleared their lines.
Columbus thought it had done enough to come away from the StubHub Center with a point, but Los Angeles was awarded a soft penalty in stoppage time.
Anor made slight contact with Keane following a cross, but the Republic of Ireland striker made the most of it to draw a call from Stoica. Keane converted once again, firing a cool finish just inside Gruenebaum's left post to hand the Galaxy a vital win, just its second over its last six matches.