CARSON, Calif. – Late heroics by Juninho and David Beckham allowed LA to return to their winning ways on Saturday, as the Galaxy defeated the Portland Timbers 3-1 at The Home Depot Center.
Kris Boyd gave the Portland the lead in the 23rd minute but the Galaxy tallied three unanswered goals from Landon Donovan, Juninho and Beckham to break their two-game losing slide. The loss resigned the Timbers to a five-game winless streak, which includes four consecutive defeats.
The Galaxy lineup saw three changes from the side that fell 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City, including two changes at center back as David Junior Lopes made his first start for the Galaxy in place of the injured A.J. DeLaGarza while rookie Tommy Meyer started in place of Andrew Boyens. Meanwhile, forward Chad Barrett replaced struggling forward Edson Buddle.
Not to be outdone, Portland head coach John Spencer shuffled his own lineup, making four changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Chivas USA, most notably Hanyer Mosquera returned from injury and replaced rookie center back Andrew Jean-Baptiste.
After a slow start to the match, the Timbers tallied their first-ever goal at The Home Depot Center in two years as Boyd broke through the Galaxy defense to open the scoring. Boyd almost tallied his second goal just a minute later when Darlington Nagbe beat Lopes before sending a fine service into the Scot, who saw his shot saved by a diving Josh Saunders.
Down a goal, the Galaxy pushed forward in search of an equalizer and found it in the 44th minute of play. Streaking down the left side after receiving a through-ball from Todd Dunivant, Keane beat Eric Brunner in the corner before finding Donovan, who buried a shot past Troy Perkins from 20 yards for the equalizer just before halftime.
Although the Galaxy continued pressing for a go-ahead goal, Portland nearly took the lead in the 56th minute when Mike Chabala whipped in a cross that was mishandled by Saunders and fell to a waiting Boyd. However, the Galaxy defense was able to clear the ball just moments before the Scot could fire a shot at the empty net.
With the pace of the match slowing as the second half wore on, Sean Franklin forced a palm save from Troy Perkins to keep the score level. On the ensuing corner, the ball bounced around the Galaxy box before falling to Lopes, who somehow lifted his shot over the bar. In the 73rd minute, Lopes nearly tallied yet again, this time from a header, but second-half substitute Franck Songo’o cleared the Brazilian’s shot off the line.
Despite holding onto the 1-1 scoreline that would give them a point, it was not to be for Portland. In the 83rd minute, Juninho’s low rocket from beyond the box put the Galaxy up for good. The Timbers had their last gasp in the 89th minute when Darlington Nagbe blew past his marker on a corner kick, but fired his header just wide of Saunders net.
The Galaxy added the exclamation point in stoppage time when a Beckham rocket beat Perkins to seal a 3-1 win. The iconic midfielder added another goal to his highlight collection, bending the ball into the top corner from 25-yards out.
LA will look to build on their victory next week when they travel to Dick's Sporting Goods Park to take on the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. Meanwhile, Portland will hope to break their winless slide when they return to JELD-WEN Field to host undefeated Sporting KC.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Landon Donovan||The game-tying goal was huge for LA, but Donovan was nearly flawless elsewhere as well, completing 65 passes with only nine miscues.|
|2||David Beckham||The veteran's highlight-reel curler was the cherry on top of a solid performance. LA leans on him to distribute from deep areas, and he delivered.|
|3||Kris Boyd||The goal was about as tidy as they come, and Boyd was unlucky not to have two after a cheeky flick and volley was called back for offside.|
WATCH: Full match highlights