Magee winner lifts Galaxy to opening playoff win over Red Bulls

Magee winner lifts Galaxy to opening playoff win over Red Bulls

MLS- New York Red Bulls

Magee winner lifts Galaxy to opening playoff win over Red Bulls

MageeLANY (Getty)

The chants of "Red Bull Reject" rang out in Red Bull Arena, but the player they were aimed at didn't hear them.

No, Mike Magee was too focused on the task at hand, helping the No. 1 seed Los Angeles Galaxy post an opening playoff win against the New York Red Bulls, which just so happened to be Magee's former team.

Magee did just that on Sunday, collecting a David Beckham pass and blasting home the lone goal in the Galaxy's 1-0 victory over New York.

One goal was all the Galaxy needed as goalkeeper Josh Saunders made a handful of stunning saves and the stingy Los Angeles defense slowed down a New York attack that had been playing well in recent weeks.

"When you go on the road, you want to be in this position. To go home with three points," said LA head coach Bruce Arena. "It's a good position to be in, but this series is far from over."

The Red Bulls created more of the chances on the day, but failed to really test Saunders early on, leaving the door open for Los Angeles to jump out to the 1-0 lead in the 15th minute when Beckham picked out Magee with a long past into the penalty area. The Red Bulls defense lost sight of Magee, in part because several of their players were signaling for an offside call.

"It's a little tricky on the goal," Backe said. "First, (Robbie) Kean was offside, but I think we have seven guys raise their hand and call for an offside, and of course you can't do that.

"You can't give away a goal like this," Backe said. "You just have to be more sharp. It's a frustrating goal to concede."

The Red Bulls really began to test Los Angeles in the second half, with Saunders making a clutch stop on a Dane Richards shot early on. Saunders made arguably his best save of the day in the 50th minute when he slapped away a close-range Luke Rodgers shot.

The Galaxy had a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 when Landon Donovan got away with a push on Tim Ream and broke in free on goal, but Red Bulls goalkeeper Frank Rost made a clutch save.

The Red Bulls controlled the play late, only to see a late Marquez chance halted by another clutch Saunders save. New York never got any closer to finding an equalizer.

The end of the match was marred by a scuffle that began after Rafa Marquez threw a ball at Landon Donovan after the final whistle. Adam Cristman responded by pushing Marquez, which set off a scuffle that saw Marquez attempt a headbutt and punch at Cristman and Galaxy midfielder Juninho make contact with Red Bulls defender Stephen Keel.

Both Marquez and Juninho were issued red cards after the match, ruling them both out of the second leg, which is set for Thursday at the Home Depot Center.

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