VANCOUVER, B.C. – Two late goals from the LA Galaxy ensured the defending MLS Cup champions salvaged a 2-2 draw Wednesday night at BC Place.
David Beckham got his team back in the match with a deflected shot in the 81st minute which flew over Joe Cannon to bring the match to 2-1, before Jose Villareal curled the ball into a similar part of goal six minutes later, cutting back in the top of the area before scoring the equalizer. The goal was the 18-year-old Homegrown signing's first-ever in MLS.
Before the late fightback, Vancouver looked in control through first half goals from Gershon Koffie and Barry Robson.
Koffie got things started with his 18th minute effort, thanks to a little help from Camilo. The Brazilian dispossessed Beckham in midfield before nutmegging Marcelo Sarvas with a pass to Koffie. The Ghanaian took a couple of touches, eventually wrong footing his marker before hitting a low left-footed effort into the bottom right corner of Josh Saunders’ goal.
Robson followed that up by powering home a header nine minutes later, getting away from his marker before redirecting Lee Young-Pyo’s cross into the top right corner past Saunders, who couldn’t stop the Scotsman’s finish at full stretch.
The fans got their first Beckham moment 11 minutes in, as the former Manchester United player stepped up to take a free kick generated by Landon Donovan, who was taken down by Robson. The Englishman’s curling effort from the edge of the area didn’t hit the target though, narrowly going over the bar.
In the 38th minute it looked as if Dane Richards might get his first as a Whitecap as well, as he burst behind the Galaxy defense, latching onto a pass from Koffie, but his sidefooted effort went comfortably wide in the end.
The Galaxy again came close in the 58th minute, as Jay DeMerit dragged down Donovan in between the corner flag and the area, near the touchline. Beckham’s free kick caused chaos, nearly allowing Donovan to score from a tight angle, but his looping attempt went wide.
In the 80th minute Koffie nearly made it two, hitting a fizzing effort from the edge of the area which Saunders knocked onto the crossbar with a strong hand.
Four minutes later Robson curled a free kick effort that looked destined for the upper left corner, but the ball rebounded off the crossbar before the Galaxy were eventually able to clear.
On 93 minutes Robson powered a free kick, forcing Saunders into a fantastic right-handed stop, as he pushed the ball over the bar.
With the draw, the Whitecaps sit at 8-6-7, and prepare to host the San Jose Earthquakes at BC Place on Sunday. The Galaxy pick up a point and now have a record of 8-10-3, and prepare for a match against LA rivals Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center on Saturday.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Barry Robson||An excellent performance in his first game in front of home fans, he tallied his first MLS goal and was the 'Caps biggest and most constant threat throughout the game|
|2||Jose Villarreal||Came on as a sub, but added great electricity to the Galaxy attack. His equalizer is a surefire Goal of the Week candidate|
|3||Joe Cannon||Nothing he could do on either LA goal, the veteran 'keeper was confident coming off his line and made some excellent saves, but will be disappointed that his defense gave LA so much space|