Beckham’s Galaxy not enough to challenge Sydney FC

Posted on November 27, 2007. Filed under: General | Tags: , , , , , |

Tonight saw David Beckham captain LA Galaxy in a friendly match with Sydney FC in the A-league team’s Telstra Stadium. Some 82,000 football mad spectators filled the grounds to welcome Beckham to Australia for the first time.

Sydney FC was certainly not overwhelmed by the occasion or the media frenzy that surrounded it, they quickly set out to prove that even with an annual budget of less than Beckham’s one week paycheck, there was a great deal of quality on offer. It was the youngsters that took the centre stage along with another hero who last faced Beckham when playing for Middlesborough and also for the Selecao in the 2002 world cup, Juninho. The diminutive Brazilian set up most of the plays and was provider for several of the goals.

Sydney quickly got ahead and had 2 goals on the board already by 25 minutes and it looked like the Galaxy were about to cop a hiding but it was what happened to their captain at this time that proved even more dramatic. The slippery surface of the pitch caused Beckham to twist his left ankle (although not unlike how he rolls it when taking free kicks anyway) and unfortunately a Sydney FC player was already sliding towards him and caused more injury. Beckham stayed down for some time and only returned to play after a minute or two, managing to hobble around but to his credit he continued to play and was able to run it off after a while. A valiant display given that he could’ve hit the showers early and not risk himself further (the same ankle caused a long spell on the sidelines at Real Madrid).

Soon after Sydney made it 3-0 and could very well have continued to punish the Galaxy but they gave away a free kick in prime Beckham territory. From some 25-30 yards out, Beckham curved it over his players hiding in the wall and Sydney’s keeper could only get fingertips to the ball as it drifted into the left-top corner. I think everyone in the crowd got something out of that goal, it’s what you come to see and what you expect from Becks.

As the game continued, the Galaxy were rewarded for their pressure and were able to pull another goal back making the score 3-2 to Sydney. But Sydney was quick to stamp out any further comeback with Robbie Middleby and Iain Fyfe capitalising on more defensive errors to make it 5-2. Only through Landon Donovan were the Galaxy able to restore some pride by finishing the game 5-3 on 90 minutes. It is worth noting that the Galaxy were a man down towards the end of the game, one of their players standing on a Sydney player’s arm in a vulgar and malicious off the ball incident. Apart from that, it was a thoroughly enjoyable match with plenty of action throughout. I’ll try to post some highlights soon.

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