Galaxy 2, Fire 1
David Beckham assisted on Landon Donovan’s goal and then scored
the tiebreaker on a corner kick to help the Los Angeles Galaxy beat
the Chicago Fire 2-1 on Saturday night.
Beckham sent in a cross from the sideline in the 58th minute
that Donovan headed into the net from the back post to make it 1-0.
The assist was Beckham’s seventh, the second-most in Major League
Beckham has been dealing with a slight stress fracture in his
spine that forced him to miss two games last month. He said he was
in pain the last few days, but woke up on game day feeling better
than he had in a while.
”Personally, it was great,” Beckham said. ”I didn’t expect to
play 90 minutes. With 25 minutes to go, I seemed to get a second
Cristian Nazarit scored in the 62nd minute for Chicago (2-5-12),
using his head to finish a cross from Patrick Nyarko.
Beckham’s kick from the left corner in the 66th minute that
skipped untouched through a pool of players to help the Galaxy
(10-2-9) extend their league-best unbeaten streak to 6-0-6.
”I don’t know how that went in,” Galaxy coach Arena said.
”That’s what we pay him the big money for.”
Los Angeles became just the 10th team in league history to have
a streak of at least 12 games without a loss.
Tempers flared in stoppage time when the Galaxy’s Chris Birchall
made a hard sliding tackle on Nyarko. Players from both sides came
together near the sidelines before order was eventually
Birchall, who hurt his ankle on the slide, received a yellow
card. Chicago’s Josip Mikulic was on the bench but was sent off
with a red card for his role in the skirmish.
”It was a bad foul,” Fire interim coach Frank Klopas said.
”Hopefully the league will review it and act accordingly.”
The Galaxy were coming off a pair of scoreless draws, and their
offense didn’t generate many chances in the opening half. But
Donovan snapped the scoring drought with his ninth goal of the
season, tying him with New York’s Thierry Henry for the league
Beckham would then take advantage of another set piece for the
game-winner. He said it was only the second goal off a corner that
he’s scored in his career.
”I saw the goalie cheating a little out of goal and saw a
gap,” Beckham said. ”I knew if I put it in area, it was going to
get a touch off somebody or go straight in. Luckily, it went
The loss snapped Chicago’s eight-game unbeaten streak, which
included ties in the last four games. Klopas was dealt his first
defeat since taking over for Carlos de los Cobos on May 30.
”We hurt ourselves with the set pieces,” Klopas said. ”When
you give opportunities to set pieces to the player that is the best
in the world at that, we put ourselves at risk. We should have done
better with the marking.”
Galaxy starters A.J DeLaGarza and Mike Magee missed the match
because of injuries. DeLaGarza suffered a head injury in last
week’s meeting with Seattle, while Magee was out with a right
hamstring strain that occurred during training.