for this game

Beckham scores twice as Galaxy play to draw

May 4, 2008 - 4:32 AM By Chris Bellamy PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) - David Beckham proved his value Saturday night, and it wasn't just the record-setting crowd he brought in at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

With his team on the ropes early in the half, Beckham scored twice to take advantage of a couple of key defensive lapses as the Los Angeles Galaxy rallied to salvage a 2-2 tie with Real Salt Lake.

"It was a good game in the end," Beckham said. "I think that we started off terrible the first 20 minutes. We didn't get close enough to them as a team. We looked scared of them. And then a couple of tackles started going in, and we livened up. We got ourselves back into the game."

Real Salt Lake's Fabian Espindola and Kenny Deuchar scored just 11 minutes apart to stake the home team to an early lead.

"I would say two goals in the first 20 minutes was the game plan. That's definitely how it was drawn up," Real coach Jason Kreis said. "But our reaction after that was very, very poor."

But that was hardly enough as Beckham halved the deficit when accepted a feed from Landon Donovan and fired a 20-yard strike for his second goal of the season in the 36th minute.

"I saw the chance, and I saw that there was nothing going on in the box, and I decided to take the shot myself," Beckham said. "We started coming back into the game just before then, and when you're coming back into the game, it's important that you capitalize on the play."

The British superstar wasted no time pulling even. Just four minutes later, Beckham drilled a 30-yard laser past Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando on a free kick for the equalizer.

Beckham's two goals were the club's only shots on goal in the first half.

The high-scoring start to the game gave way to a quieter second half, as the two clubs could only muster a series of near-misses and missed opportunities.

"I was kind of surprised (at the lack of second-half offense)," Kreis said. "I think both teams had plenty of opportunities, and you'd figure there would have been more goals, especially after four in the first half."

Real's Andy Williams nearly gave his team the lead four minutes into the second half, but his low line drive right in front of the net ricocheted off goalkeeper Steve Cronin's leg and popped up high and out of bounds.

Los Angeles had two quick chances 10 minutes later. Rimando blocked Greg Vanney's shot, but the ball rebounded right to Alan Gordon, whose header went wide left.

Probably the best chance either team had came in the 73rd minute. Beckham sailed a long cross to an open Donovan, but the veteran misfired from point-blank range.

"I think that after the game, there was a feeling that we should have won this game," Galaxy coach Ruud Gullit said. "After those (first) 20 minutes, this team battled back."