MONTREAL – Giving David Beckham one chance to score from a dead ball, said Jesse Marsch, is giving him one chance too many. And the LA Galaxy midfielder proved on Saturday that the Montreal Impact’s head coach was only too right.
The former England captain only attempted one free kick at the Olympic Stadium against the Impact, but he made the most of it, curling the ball into the net in the 62nd minute to knot the score at one apiece.
It was a stunning turn-around for LA. Playing in front of 60,860 fans, Montreal dominated the first half, and went ahead in the eighth minute off a goal by captain Davy Arnaud. But the tide changed after the break, as the LA attack started to put Montreal on their heels.
HIGHLIGHTS: MTL 1, LA 1
“Second half, they get themselves going,” Marsch told reporters after the game. “Their gifted players like Donovan, Keane and Beckham start to have a little more space, start to have a little more time, start to be able to make a few more plays. Beckham scores a very good goal, and then we’re kind of hanging on.”
For all the attacking talent LA can put on the field, the Impact proved equal to the task in the first half, calmly absorbing pressure and then exploiting the space left behind on the counterattack.
But with the exception of Arnaud’s strike, the expansion side couldn’t make the Galaxy pay when they got their opportunities.
“We’re still moving ourselves along with poise and savviness on the ball,” Marsch recognized. “That’s still something that, especially on turf, doesn’t come as frequent as we all want it to come along. This is part of our growing together, and another step that we need to be shooting for.”
Marsch felt the draw was a positive result, an opinion captain Arnaud echoed. But despite the point earned against the reigning MLS Cup champions, Arnaud admitted that he wasn’t satisfied with the way the team had played in a game where they never quite got into their rhythm.
“We’re still undefeated at home, and we were under some pressure at the end of the game, for sure,” Arnaud said. “We held strong and at the end of the day we get a point, but we’re a little bit disappointed with the way we played.”