CARSON, Calif. – A corner kick by midfielder David Beckham set up defender Todd Dunivant for the decisive goal in the second half, as the LA Galaxy claimed a 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers on Sunday at The Home Depot Center.
The Timbers, returning to MLS play for the first time since May 26, and Galaxy played scoreless through the first 60 minutes, with Portland holding an advantage in shots in the first half. But shortly after the hour mark, Dunivant headed home the game’s lone goal in the 61st minute as the Galaxy ended the Timbers’ four-game unbeaten streak in league play.
Dunivant scored his first goal since the 2010 campaign and Beckham logged his team-best fifth assist to help the Galaxy (4-8-2, 14pts) snap a seven-game winless stretch. Goalkeeper Josh Saunders made four saves to help LA record its first shutout of the season.
Forward Kris Boyd put two of his three shots on frame, goalkeeper Troy Perkins made two saves and forward Danny Mwanga made his team debut for the Timbers (3-6-4, 13pts) in the loss – the team’s first league defeat since April 28.
A corner kick by Beckham from the left side led to the winning goal. Beckham’s service curled in at the back post, where after some battling for positioning in front of goal, Dunivant was able to head the ball inside the right post from the top of the six yard box.
Portland forced Saunders to make three of his saves in the first half, including one on a strike by Boyd in the 26th minute. Boyd fired a shot from 25 yards out aimed at the bottom left corner, but Saunders was able to push the ball wide with a diving save.
The Galaxy had two chances early in the first half to grab a lead. In the opening minutes of the match, midfielder Marcelo Sarvas headed a Sean Franklin cross on frame, but Perkins was in position to knock the ball up over the crossbar. In the 15th minute, forward Landon Donovan crushed a shot from the top of the box off the right post.
Mwanga set up midfielder Kalif Alhassan for one of the Timbers’ better chances of the second half in the 54th minute. Alhassan’s left-footed shot from outside the box was saved by Saunders.