EAST RUTHERFORD, United States (AFP) - In his first Major League Soccer start, David Beckham was instrumental in three Galaxy goals but couldn't prevent Los Angeles from falling 5-4 to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
New York's Jozy Altidore and Juan Pablo Angel and the Galaxy's Carlos Pavon all scored twice at a packed Giants Stadium.
After some initial defensive errors by Los Angeles, New York opened the scoring in the fourth minute on a free kick from Angel, who fired through the defensive wall, but two minutes later Pavon scored for Los Angeles, nodding home a Beckham corner kick.
Beckham and Pavon came together again in the eighth minute, this time the Honduran striker scoring by heading in a trademark Beckham free kick from the right side.
New York’s Clint Mathis equalized two minutes into first-half injury time, slamming the ball home from well outside the penalty area after a goalmouth scramble.
Altidore scored his first goal on a 49th minute counterattack to make it 3-2, then scored again in the 70th minute, firing a fierce shot past goalkeeper Joe Cannon after dribbling across the top of the box.
Landon Donovan replied for the Galaxy a minute later, racing the length of the field to make it 4-3, and Edson Buddle scored in the 82nd minute to tie the game at 4-4, when the ball fell to him after teammate Kyle Veris’ header hit the crossbar from another Beckham corner kick .
Angel tallied the winner in the 88th, scoring from close range after a fierce long-range shot from Mathis was blocked by Cannon.
A crowd of more than 66,000 was on hand for the game at the New York area venue, a record for an MLS game not part of a double-header.
Beckham admitted he hadn't expected to play the full 90 minutes.
"I was surprised to actually play 90 minutes," Beckham said. "The manager and the coaching staff kept asking me if I wanted to come off. But I'm quite a stubborn person on and off the field. When we were winning I didn't want to come off and when we were losing I didn't want to come off.
"I think my stubborness took over and I didn't want to come off the pitch."
Beckham initially had been reluctant to play on the artificial turf at Giants Stadium.
"My ankle took a pounding, obviously. I'm not used to this surface but it wasn't bad," Beckham said. "There were a couple of instances where I rolled over on my ankle but at the end of the day we have to play on this surface."
Beckham said his ailing ankle did swell, but he didn't think it would affect him as he travels to England for a friendly Wednesday against Germany.
"My ankle is more swollen than it was before the game, but I'm sure it will be fine for Wednesday."
|Kiessling calls for Leverkusen response|
|Matuidi: Cavani on par with Ibrahimovic|
|Yeboah set to join Borussia Monchengladbach|
|Rooney a ´chance´ to face West Ham|
|FIFA Club World Cup Preview: Bayern Munich v Raja Casablanca|
|Benzarti praises ´extremely talented´ Raja Casablanca|
|Ranieri unsure over Falcao return|
|Coupe de La Ligue Wrap: Cavani leads PSG to dramatic win|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Real Madrid through as Sevilla crash out|
|Tottenham job appeals to Sherwood|
|Sherwood gutted after defeat|
|Hughes: United worthy winners|
|Moyes pleased to see United weather storm|
|Allardyce hails West Ham fight|
|Coppa Italia: Juventus 3 Avellino 0|
|Manchester clubs kept apart in League Cup semi draw|
|League Cup: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2|
|League Cup: Stoke City 0 Manchester United 2|
|FIFA Club World Cup: Raja Casablanca 3 Atletico Mineiro 1|
|Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan abandoned due to heavy rain|
|United face anxious Rooney wait over injury|
|Messi making good progress|
|Ramos ban overturned|
|Osvaldo charged by FA|
|In-demand Ince offered new Blackpool deal|
|Molde confirm Solskjaer approaches|
|Kramer keen to continue home record|
|Rodgers: Henderson has potential to get even better|
|Ruiz on Anderlecht´s radar|
|Swansea, Hull fined by FA over player behaviour|
|Leeds keen on re-signing Gradel|
|Leverkusen announce Ryu deal|
|Ribery named Bundesliga Player of the Year|
|Moyes: No Zaha interest|
|Barcelona, Real Madrid in European Commission investigation|
|Basel: No Tottenham approach for Yakin|
|Chelsea set for Guarin bid, agent claims|
|Lewandowski has Dortmund goal concerns|
|Pogba, Pirlo will not sign before Christmas, says Marotta|
|Guardiola convinced to join Bayern after ´meat´ and greet|
|Martinez: Everton seen as a ´perfect´ loan destination|
|Anderlecht ´perfect´ for Defour, says Van Holsbeeck|
|Watford appoint Sannino|
|Sakho feels ´lucky´ to play with Suarez|
|Lippi: Too many teams competing in Club World Cup|
|Moyes ´told Welbeck to learn from Rooney´|
|I would kill myself over match-fixing, says Gattuso|
|Hughes dismisses calls for Januzaj protection|
|Aguero ´could miss up to two months´|
|Guardiola lauds Ballon d´Or nominee Ribery|
|Liverpool open Suarez contract talks|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Barcelona, Levante cruise through|
|A-League Preview: Derby date beckons for winless Heart|
|Pearson upbeat despite Leicester defeat|
|Poyet urges Sunderland to build on Chelsea win|
|Mourinho rues missed chances|
|Pellegrini proud of professional Manchester City|
|Bayern on another level, says Beckenbauer|
|League Cup: Sunderland 2 Chelsea 1 (aet)|
|League Cup: Leicester City 1 Manchester City 3|
|FIFA Club World Cup: Guangzhou Evergrande 0 Bayern Munich 3|
|Zenit and Olympiacos punished with partial stadium closures|
|Sherwood wants positive reaction|
|Ancelotti expected La Liga title fight|
|Moffat charged over betting allegations|
|Wilson appointed at Barnsley|
|Wilshere charged by FA|
|Gattuso determined to clear his name|
|Moyes slams sacking culture|
|Mackay refuses to resign despite owner criticism|
|Redknapp reluctant to take Taarabt back|
|Amat pleased with development|
|Hughes optimistic of League Cup progression|
|Perez: No bids for Di Maria|
|FIFPro demand transfer system overhaul|
|Edwards sacked by Perth Glory|
|Allardyce not fearing the sack|
|Howson commits to Norwich|
|Tevez resigned to Argentina snub|
|SFA uphold Butcher´s one-match ban|
|Zapata rules out United switch|
|European Ombudsman calls for action on Spanish tax complaint|
|Albrighton eyes new Villa deal|
|Bale to miss Copa del Rey clash with ´small injury´|
|Pardew will bide his time in January|
|Kreuzer confident of Hamburg improvement|
|Van der Sar: Moyes can turn United around|
|Maradona backs Ronaldo for Ballon d´Or|
|Tottenham warned off Klinsmann|
|Costa Rica Primera Division: Alajuelense 0 Herediano 0|
|Lyon wary of Chornomorets Odesa|
|Guardiola talks up Lippi, Evergrande|
|Chile Primera Division Wrap: Chile, Deportes Iquique reach final|
|Garcia laments defensive mistakes|
|La Liga: Real Valladolid 3 Celta Vigo 0|