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

Soccer.

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

wind.”

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

restored.

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

lead.

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

straight in.”

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.