David Beckham had a hand in both goals as
the L.A Galaxy beat the New York Red Bulls 2-1 on Thursday to
book a place in Major League Soccer's Western Conference final,
where they will face Real Salt Lake.
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, New York levelled the tie
on aggregate in just the fourth minute when English striker Luke
Rodgers latched on to a superb through ball from former France
striker Thierry Henry and slotted home.
Rodgers, who had been at the centre of a war of words
between the two teams in recent weeks, was immediately booked
after a wild challenge on Beckham and was lucky to stay on the
field after he aggressively kicked the ball into the crowd.
The Red Bulls will have been disappointed with the way they
allowed L.A. to restore their advantage with a Beckham corner
being headed in by diminutive midfielder Mike Magee - who
scored the only goal in the first leg.
Rodgers went close to another goal after the break when he
burst in on the left but his shot struck the side-netting and
Henry was booked as New York struggled to maintain their first
The Galaxy got in front on the night from the penalty spot
after Beckham, with his back to goal, was needlessly fouled in
the area by Roy Miller and Galaxy skipper Landon Donovan, who
had a quiet night, converted the spot-kick to ensure a 3-1
Former England captain Beckham is in the final year of his
five-year deal with the Galaxy and still searching for his first
The Galaxy, who finished with the best regular season
record in MLS, have home field advantage against Salt Lake on
Sunday and, if they get through that test, they then also play
the final, on November 20, at their own venue.
The Eastern Conference final will be between Sporting
Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo after the Texan side earlier
enjoyed a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union to also secure a
3-1 victory on aggregate.
A 45th-minute header from Brian Ching allowed Houston to
reach their fourth conference final in the past six years.
Ching nodded in a perfect glancing header on the stroke of
half-time, rising to meet a curling free-kick from Brad Davis.
The game was a scrappy encounter played on a poor surface in
what was Dynamo's last game at Robertson Stadium before they
move to their new, purpose-built arena in downtown Houston next
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