6/8/08

Los Angeles Survives Rapids to Go Top in West

The Colorado Rapids fought back from 3-0 down to make it a one-goal game, but the comeback was disrupted when a teenage fan ran onto the field during play to high-five and hug David Beckham before first being knocked down by Galaxy defender Chris Klein and then pinned by one of Beckham's suited security men.

David Beckham helped pull the unidentified fan to his feet before the youngster was escorted away by the bodyguard.

"I was slightly concerned when I first saw him running at me because he didn't have a smile on his face and he didn't have a Galaxy shirt on," Beckham said. "So I didn't know if he was going to come and give me a hug or something else.

"These things happen in games all over the world. Luckily, he just wanted to give me a high five and that was the end of it."

Galaxy forward Alan Gordon took Colorado defender Ugo Ihemelu's attempted clearance kick square in the face in the opening minute, momentarily shaking him, then was ejected from the match just before halftime.

The later incident came with the Galaxy holding a 2-0 lead on midfielder Alvaro Pires' fourth-minute goal and Edson Buddle's 32nd-minute strike, his fifth of the year.

Gordon and Colorado defender Facundo Erpen went up for a ball, and as Erpen crashed to the ground he swung his right leg around, catching Gordon in the groin with his foot. The Galaxy forward retaliated by kicking Erpen.

Referee Kevin Stott immediately flashed the red card, tossing Gordon from the game, and then, a while later and after some heated discussion, also ejected Erpen.

The calls left both teams with only 10 men for the second 45 minutes. Colorado, which had won the season opener, 4-0, against the Galaxy in Commerce City, Colo., and then beaten it, 1-0, in U.S. Open Cup qualifying in Carson, took advantage.

The Galaxy took the lead when Beckham sent a free kick in from the right flank and Colorado's defenders made a mess of clearing the ball, which fell to Pires. From five yards out, he made no mistake.

Buddle doubled the lead just past the half-hour mark, running on to a long ball from defender Abel Xavier, taking two touches as he sprinted into the box and then unleashing a fearsome shot that fizzed past Colorado goalkeeper Preston Burpo.

The Galaxy scored a third when Peter Vagenas, making a rare start, sent a through ball down the middle and rookie Ely Allen took it to the edge of the area before firing a low shot past Burpo for his first MLS goal.



source Los Angeles Times

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