CARSON, Calif. –The Los Angeles Galaxy broke out of their two-game losing streak on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over the Portland Timbers at Home Depot Center on Saturday night.
Kris Boyd gave the Timbers the lead in the 23rd minute, but Landon Donovan gave the Galaxy a lifeline in the 44th minute when he tied the match. The Galaxy then added two goals late in the second half when Juninho buried a 25-yard shot to make the score 2-1. David Beckham provided the insurance tally in stoppage time, blasting his own long-range shot to bury the Timbers.
“It’s a big one obviously because of the run that we’ve been on and the way we’ve been playing,” Beckham told reporters after the match. “Overall, our performance was a 100 percent better than it’s been all season. We played as a team, we attacked and defended as a team and we deserved to win."
Portland took the lead in the 23rd minute when Boyd broke through the Galaxy defense to score the Timbers first-ever goal at the Home Depot Center. The Timbers looked like they had a second goal in the bag just two minutes later, but a second Boyd goal was incorrectly ruled offside.
That decision came back to haunt the Timbers just before halftime, when the Galaxy pushed forward and found the equalizer in the 44th minute when a Robbie Keane cross was deflected by a Portland Timbers defender before falling to Landon Donovan, who buried the equalizer. In the second half, the Galaxy pulled ahead of the reeling Timbers as Juninho tallied his first goal of the season with a late blast in the 83th minute before Beckham buried the third goal of the night.
Although the scoreline favored the Galaxy, the Timbers believed that the result was one that they could build upon.
"Today, I think we performed at times and played some really good football tonight, but we're unfortunate to come away with a 3-1 scoreline against us," said head coach John Spencer. "It's a long season and obviously, you want to be winning like KC is, just winning five or six games in a row, no one wants to go through this one.
"Hopefully, there'll be a time in the year when we'll look back at this past month and it will be a distance memory and hopefully then we're in a position where we're pushing for the playoffs."
One of the major factors for the Timbers struggles in front of net was the inspired play of Galaxy defender David Junior Lopes, who put in a stellar performance filling in for the injured AJ DeLaGarza, who was out with a right abductor strain. Providing the Galaxy with a physical bite that the club has lacked without Omar Gonzalez, the burly Brazilian routinely out-muscled Timbers attackers and was unlucky not to tally two goals himself late in the match.
The plan wasn't for him to get thrown in right away, but with A.J. out, he got forced in,” said Donovan. “You could tell he's a competitor, that he was frustrated at Chivas that he wasn't playing, and we're glad to have him. Hopefully, as they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. For us, he was fantastic. It's hard to see why he hasn't been playing. I think he was great tonight, and he's only going to get better when he gets comfortable.”
The Galaxy will look to earn their second straight victory next week when they hit the road to Dicks Sporting Goods Park to take on the Colorado Rapids. Meanwhile, Portland will look to break out of their six game win-less streak as they host undefeated Sporting Kansas City.