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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UEFA Champions League Oct 3 wrap

Posted on October 4, 2007. Filed under: UEFA, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Apart from Liverpool’s lackluster match against Marseille, the rest of the fixtures for groups A,B,C and D played out as follows…

Real Madrid and Lazio battled their way to equal points and a 2-2 draw. A brace from Van Nistelrooy took the prolific striker to 56 champions league goals but Pandev had a brace of his own for Madrid. The defensive ability of the great club was brought into question yet again as they were left exposed on various occasions. They were lucky to take any points away from this trip to Italy.

AC Milan traveled to meet Celtic in Glasgow and weren’t up to the task of defeating the “hoops” at home. The club with few wins in serie A of late can’t even turn to their usually good performances in Europe at the moment as Celtic took all points with a 2-1 win. McManus headed in from a corner to make the score 1-0 and Milan leveled after Kaka’ put away a penalty awarded for a foul on Ambrosini. Celtic made it 2-1 at the death after another Dida blunder that allowed the Aussie striker, McDonald, to slot away the rebound.

Olympiacos beat Werder Bremen, 3-1 after an amazing second-half come back to leave the German hosts with a sour taste in their mouths. Almeida was able to put away at least one of his many chances during the night to put Bremen in the lead, 1-0 but it wasn’t to last as Olympiacos came back to put 3 goals away in the second half. An amazing second goal from Patsatzoglu found the back of the net with a little help from a deflection.

Schalke defeated Rosenburg 2-0 with goals from Jones and Kuranyi making a successful roadtrip. Shakhtar were also able to upset their hosts, beating Benfica 1-0 in Lisbon. Continuing the tradition of wins on the road, this time it was Benfica’s league rivals, Porto, that were able to take 3 points from Besiktas in Turkey. The brilliant Quaresma waited until the 92nd minute to put the only goal of the match away.

Finally it was Chelsea that were also able to defeat their Spanish hosts proving that they’re not in crisis just yet after Mourinho’s departure. But it was David Villa that opened the scoring for the home side with a bit of luck allowing the ball to fall in a good position for him. Drogba combined well with Malouda, allowing the later to play the ball across the 6-yard line for Joe Cole to tap in and level the scores. Finally Drogba calmly placed a shot towards the far post and allowed Chelsea to go home 2-1 winners over Valencia.

[Video length: 4m11s]

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Julio Batista Wondergoal!

Posted on September 30, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Check out the awesome overhead kick that finished up Real Madrid’s win over Real Betis. A very cool finish with perfect technique by Julio Baptista.

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