Beckham leads Galaxy past Isidro Metapan
David Beckham sent in crosses that led to two first-half goals and then curled home a corner kick for a goal of his own to help the Los Angeles Galaxy open CONCACAF Champions League play with a 5-2 victory over El Salvador's Isidro Metapan on Thursday night.
Nicolas Munoz gave Metapan the lead in the 17th-minute following a defensive breakdown, but Beckham's crosses led to Ricardo Alvarado's own goal in the 20th minute and Robbie Keane's go-ahead header in the 22nd.
Beckham added the third in first-half stoppage time, bending in a corner kick off goalkeeper Fidel Mondragon's hands, and Juninho scored in the 82nd minute and in stoppage as Los Angeles took the Group 5 lead.
Munoz converted an 87th-minute penalty kick for Metapan (1-1-0).
''It's a game we could have won by a larger margin, for sure,'' said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena, whose team missed a half-dozen good chances in the first half. ''We could have had a couple goals in the opening minutes of the game.''
Keane was sent off in the 70th minute. Mexican referee Alfredo Penaloza cautioned the Irish striker after he was tripped above Metapan's box, then pulled out the red card as Keane stormed away, signaling for a substitution.
''The referee missed the call,'' Arena said. ''And, typical, we've seen in these competitions, the referees think they're bigger than the game itself. And they've got to put themselves ahead of everything.
''I don't know, Robbie spoke, said something, whatever. But when a referee misses a call like that, he's got to be big enough to kind of ignore it and let the game go on.''
Keane will be suspended for the Galaxy's Champions League game Wednesday night against the Puerto Rico Islanders (0-1-0), who play in the North American Soccer League, the second division in the U.S. The Islanders, who knocked the Galaxy out of the competition two years ago, lost 3-1 at Metapan three weeks ago.
The Galaxy were without Landon Donovan, who suffered a hamstring strain in last week's U.S. victory against Mexico.