CARSON, Calif. – A goal and an assist from forward Landon Donovan combined with late goals in the final minutes of the match by midfielders Juninho and David Beckham led the LA Galaxy to a 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers in front of 22,143 at The Home Depot Center on Saturday night.
The Timbers struck first on forward Kris Boyd’s third goal of the season in the 23rd minute to stake a 1-0 lead. The Galaxy responded with three unanswered goals, starting with the equalizing goal just before halftime from Donovan. Juninho provided the game-winner in the 83rd minute and Beckham added an insurance goal in second-half stoppage time on a strike from distance to lift the Galaxy to a 3-1 victory.
Beckham, Donovan and Juninho each scored their first goals of the season and Donovan notched his second assist on the campaign to help the Galaxy (2-3-0, 6pts) end a run of back-to-back losses with their second win of the season. The Galaxy had seven different players with a shot on goal.
Boyd scored in his second straight match, forward Darlington Nagbe and midfielder Eric Alexander were each credited with an assist and goalkeeper Troy Perkins recorded a season-high six saves for the Timbers (1-4-1, 4pts). Portland lost its fourth straight match.
With the score tied at 1-1 through almost the entire second half, Juninho’s goal in the 83rd minute cracked the deadlock. Portland cleared away a ball played into the box and it fell between Juninho and Timbers midfielder Diego Chara. Juninho won the ball near the top of the box and fired a low shot through the area and inside the left post to put the Galaxy ahead 2-1 with seven minutes remaining.
The Galaxy tacked on a third goal in the first minute of second-half stoppage time. The home side held possession in the Timbers half and worked the ball to an open Beckham at midfield. With room to run, Beckham charged towards goal and unleashed a curling shot from 25 yards out into the top right corner of the goal, giving the defending-MLS Cup champions a 3-1 win.
The Timbers scored first for a second straight game as Boyd beat Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders on a shot from the top of the box in the 23rd minute. Quick passes through the midfield allowed Alexander to play a leading ball for Boyd towards the penalty area. On his first touch, Boyd, from 20 yards out, put a clinical finish on a shot inside the right post for a 1-0 Portland lead.
Just before halftime, the Galaxy leveled the score following a hard-working play by forward Robbie Keane. Keane worked the ball down the endline on the left side of goal and slipped a pass through the box to an open, on-rushing Donovan. With time and space, Donovan hit a low shot from inside 15 yards past Perkins to knot the score at 1-1 in the 44th minute.
Midway through the second half, both sides had chances to take a lead and exchanged close scoring opportunities. In the 70th minute, a headed pass back across the goal mouth by the Galaxy’s Mike Magee found defender David Junior Lopes on the doorstep, but Lopes’ shot skied over the goal.
Three minutes later, Lopes had his header off a corner kick cleared off the line by Portland’s Franck Songo’o. On the ensuing counter attack by the Timbers, midfielder Eric Alexander took a shot from the top, right side of the area, which rattled off the crossbar.
Boyd had a second goal, scored just two minutes after he gave Portland a 1-0 lead, waived off due to an offside call. Midfielder Kalif Alhassan, making his first start in two games, chipped in a pass for Boyd just yards from the spot. But as Boyd back-heeled a pass to himself and volleyed a shot into the back of the net, the offside flag was raised. All three of Boyd’s shots on the night were on target.
Perkins made four of his six saves in the first half, turning away a close range shot by Keane in the 38th minute and a blast from the top of the box by forward Chad Barrett in the 10th minute. He also punched away a threatening free kick by Beckham in the 14th minute that was heading for the underside of the crossbar.
The Timbers return home to play host to an undefeated Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, April 21, at JELD-WEN Field; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. The matchup against Sporting KC, the league’s only undefeated side at 6-0-0, will be broadcast live on ROOT SPORTS.