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Rediff.com  » Sports » Beckham 'assists' Galaxy to get playoff edge

Beckham 'assists' Galaxy to get playoff edge

October 31, 2011 11:40 IST

David Beckham created the 15th-minute winner for Mike Magee as the LA Galaxy beat the New York Red Bulls 1-0 in their Major League Soccer Western Conference semi-final, first-leg match on Sunday.

Beckham floated a high ball into the New York penalty area and Magee took advantage of static Red Bulls defenders, arms raised appealing for offside, to blast home.

The Galaxy goal came after their Ireland international striker Robbie Keane hit the post and they enjoyed the better of the game playing some neat possession football.

David Beckham of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Thierry Henry (right) of the New York Red BullsNew York, with former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry in attack, left it late to pile on the pressure but L.A. held firm.

The Galaxy were helped by some good saves from keeper Josh Saunders who denied Joel Lindpere at close-range and then pulled off a great save in injury time to foil Mexican Rafa Marquez.

Marquez and the Galaxy's Juninho will miss the second leg after being given red cards for their part in a fracas after the final whistle involving a number of players where punches were thrown.

The Philadelphia Union's first game in the postseason ended in defeat to an impressive Houston Dynamo.

The first leg Eastern Conference semi got off to a crackling start when Canadian Andre Hainault headed in a Brad Davis cross to put Dynamo in front.

French forward Sebastien Le Toux responded for the Union within 90 seconds with a close-range, left-foot finish after good work from Michael Farfan.

Dynamo got back in front on the half hour when Calen Carr produced a cool finish after being put through by a smart pass from former US international Brian Ching.

There were chances for both teams in a hard-fought second half but Houston will be delighted to take a 2-1 lead back to Robertson Stadium for Thursday's second leg.

On Friday, Real Salt Lake beat the Seattle Sounders 3-0 in the Western Conference, while the Colorado Rapids faced Sporting Kansas City later on Sunday.

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