By Alex Baker
(Carson, CA) – With their troubled start to the season an increasingly fading memory, the LA Galaxy extended their undefeated streak to six games in all competitions with a comfortable 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night.
LA’s Brazilian midfielder Juninho opened the scoring just before halftime when he blasted one from 35 yards out, beating Caps keeper Brad Knighton to find the top corner and make it 1-0 in the 41st.
“Juni’s been doing that a lot recently in training and in games,” said David Beckham afterwards. “When he’s got his shooting boots on there’s not many goalkeepers that can stop him.”
It was Beckham who eventually doubled LA’s lead in the 79th minute. Robbie Keane was bundled over on the edge of the 18 and LA were awarded a free kick from 20 yards out. The former England midfielder and renowned dead-ball specialist stepped up to the mark and put his shot over the wall, into the back of the net, leaving Knighton absolutely flat-footed to make it 2-0 Galaxy.
The goal was Beckham’s sixth in a period of just eight games.
“Yeah I’m not usually scoring that many,” said the former Manchester United man. “But I’ll take it.”
Keane also found the back of the net earlier in the game. However his 32nd minute effort was disallowed for being offside.
But despite not getting his name on the score sheet the Ireland forward put in a good shift and nearly opened the second half with a goal when he broke through the Whitecaps back-line and put a shot on goal that was blocked by Knighton.
“The concern you have with your striker is if he’s not getting chances,” said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena afterwards, “and Robbie got a good number tonight and he’s gonna finish his share. I think he played well and was pretty dangerous.”
Beckham was subbed off in the 85th minute to a rousing chorus of cheers from the 20,168 in attendance. His replacement was Edson Buddle who is still making his way back from injury and has struggled to find the form he enjoyed two seasons ago before he left the Galaxy for a second division side in the German Bundesliga.
The Galaxy had one last opportunity to extend their lead when Michael Stephens broke through on goal in the 88th minute. However the workmanlike holding midfielder allowed himself too many touches in the penalty area and Vancouver were able to nullify the danger.
But when it was all said and done, Vancouver had barely mustered a shot on goal while LA had conjured up what was arguably one of their best team performances on the season. The red hot Galaxy now head into the international break in third place and even with Seattle on 43 points.