Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By JONATHAN VERA
CARSON, Calif – After battling a back injury for weeks, David Beckham woke up earlier this week feeling pain free and ready to play.
The Chicago Fire found out the hard way just how ready Beckham was.
The Los Angeles Galaxy star set up a Landon Donovan goal before scoring a goal of his own on, of all things, a corner kick to help lead the Galaxy to a 2-1 win over the Fire on Saturday night at the Home Depot Center.
Donovan opened the scoring in 59th minute when he headed home a Beckham corner kick. Cristian Nazarit netted an equalizer for Chicago just six minutes later, but Beckham settled matters just two minutes later when he whipped in a corner kick that fooled Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson and bounced through his legs for the game-winning goal.
“It feels good to win,” said Beckham, who played 90 minutes for the first time in almost a month. “We haven’t played very well lately, tonight wasn’t perfect but we were a lot better.
"Our energy was better, our commitment was better, we passed the ball better. We made the plays we needed to win, so it feels good.”
As for the game-winning goal?
“I saw the goal keeper going out of the goal and saw a little bit of a gap,” Beckham said. “So I knew if I put in an area it was either going to get a touch off somebody or go straight in.”
The last time Beckham scored a goal like that was back in 1995 when he was on loan at Preston.
“I think [Beckham] was a tremendous presence tonight,” confessed Bruce Arena. “The second goal, did that touch anyone? I don’t know how it went in; but that’s why we pay him the big money for.”
The Fire saw their eight-match unbeaten streak snapped, a fact made more frustrating for the Fire because Chicago created more goal-scoring opportunities than the Galaxy did, but surrendered too many free kicks
“We didn’t deserve to lose this game,” said Fire coach Frank Klopas. “We totally out-played them, we out-shot them but we hurt ourselves with the set pieces; we gave away too many fouls throughout the game.
“When you give opportunities from set pieces to a player that’s the best in the world, we put ourselves at risk.”