A single goal set up by David Beckham and slammed home by Mike Magee saw the Los Angeles Galaxy overcome the New York Red Bulls in the first round of the two leg conference semifinals. The conditions at the stadium were very cold (the East Coast just had their snow storm) but the match ended up being quite fiery.
The first leg of the game was truly a tale of two halves. The first of which was largely dominated by Los Angeles. They were getting the right crosses. They were making the right runs. On a number of occasions it actually looked like they were going to score early on in the match. One particular shot by Robbie Keane looked like it was about to sail into the top right corner of the net but ended up bouncing off the bar to Mike Magee who headed it over the bar.
Then in the 15th minute David Beckham sent a ball over to the left side of the field on a set piece to Mike Magee who slammed it back into the net from a very difficult position.The remainder of the first half would be a series of back and forths mostly dominated by LA. Including another very close chance by Robbie Keane where he got around the goalkeeper by just hesitated a tad too much and the ball was run out of the field.
The first half would end 1-nil, LA.
The second half was pretty much the exact opposite of the first. This time the New York Red Bulls dominated the match. Hans Backe must have said something to his side in the locker room because in the 46th minute they already had a break away by Dane Richards who flubbed it at the end.
New York would continue to apply pressure to the Los Angeles Galaxy back line. A couple great Luke Rodgers runs that ultimately failed and a beautiful Thierry Henry bicycle kick highlighted the second half in terms of actual soccer, but ultimately the second half would end up short for the east coast side.
One other thing to note was the second half theatrics by Rafael Marquez who has proven, yet again, what a complete disgrace he is in MLS (not that some of the LA players weren't losing their cool either). What happened, essentially, was that Rafa threw the ball at Landon Donovan and hit his leg in a disrespectful manner. Adam Christman then got into his face and a scuffle occurred whereby Marquez was hit by a ghost. Seriously, he went down but there was nothing that hit him. Two red cards for Marquz and Junihno. Both will miss the second leg.
Los Angeles goes into the second leg with an advantage of a single away goal.