for this game

Beckham's goal lifts Galaxy over Chivas USA 1-0

Aug 30, 2009 - 6:34 AM CARSON, Calif. (STATS) - David Beckham had gone scoreless for more than a month. On Saturday night, he put an end to that drought and tightened the Western Conference race in the process.

Beckham scored in the 80th minute to lead the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 1-0 victory over Chivas USA on Saturday. It was the first league goal for Beckham since he re-joined the Galaxy on July 16.

"It always helps of course," Beckham said of his game-winning tally. "It's always nice to score a goal and win a game, especially against your rivals. Its a big game for us because we wanted to keep our momentum up."

The win moved the Galaxy (9-4-11) within two points of conference leader Houston, which visits Colorado on Sunday.

With 10 minutes remaining, Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant sent a throw-in from the left sideline to the middle of the penalty area. Teammate Omar Gonzalez headed the ball forward, allowing Beckham to fire a shot from just inside the penalty area off the left post and across the goal line.

"I knew I had to hit it down because it was bouncing awkwardly and sometimes it can end up in the back row. Thankfully it ended up in the back of the net," Beckham said. "It wasn't the prettiest game of soccer we played, but three points are three points."

It was a stinging loss for Chivas USA, especially on a goal that coach Preki called a fortunate bounce.

"There is no way we deserved to lose this game," Preki said. "Sometimes thats the way it goes. You don't always get what you deserve."

Three minutes after the goal, Chivas forward Maykel Galindo was ejected after elbowing Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter.

Chivas starting goalkeeper Zach Thornton (strained quadriceps) did not dress for the match. Thornton, who originally suffered the injury in July, attempted to play at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday but lasted only until halftime.

Backup Lance Parker, who had allowed seven goals in three games this season, took Thornton's place and kept the Galaxy quiet until Beckham's goal. Beckham and Landon Donovan nearly combined for an insurance goal in stoppage time but Parker, who had fallen to the ground, dove and turned Donovan away from close range.

The victory was the 10th for the Galaxy in 13 all-time meetings with Chivas (10-9-3).

Chivas was playing its third match in eight days, after a 2-0 home win over Toronto last Saturday and a 4-0 loss Wednesday at Real Salt Lake.

The Galaxy, meanwhile, continue to climb up the standings and they seek their first playoff berth since winning the MLS Cup in 2005.

"Once again, our team continues to make progress," coach Bruce Arena said. "You have to win games like this. This was a tough game and I think our concentration and discipline for 90 minutes was real good."

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Story from: STATS LLC, http://www.stats.com.