Beckham unable to prevent LA defeat

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The Independent Football

David Beckham's first pre-season game of 2008 ended in disappointment with his Los Angeles Galaxy side losing 1-0 to Japan's Gamba Osaka in the first Pan Pacific Championship semi-final.

The English midfielder played the entire game at Aloha Stadium but was unable to prevent his team losing to their J-League opponents. He was involved in an angry exchange with Brazilian Lucas after a heavy collision in the second half. Brazilian striker Bare scored the winning goal in the third minute.

Galaxy will face Sydney FC in the third-place playoff on Saturday after the Australian side were thrashed 3-0 by Houston Dynamo in the other semi-final.

Beckham was left ruing the Galaxy's poor start and their failure to capitalise on second-half chances. "Obviously it's always disappointing when you lose the game: when you don't start off the game well and properly, then that happens," he said."

"They capitalised on that first breakthrough, but we got back towards the end of the first half and we had a few chances.

"The second half was a lot better, we started playing football, we started playing with confidence and we created chances. But you don't get anything unless you put them away."

The Galaxy manager Ruud Gullit felt his side were hampered by a lack of preparation having arrived in Hawaii only two days ago. He said: "In the beginning we had to adapt a lot to the pitch, we didn't train on the pitch at all. It took us a little bit of time to adjust."

"We thought David might only play 30 minutes because we were concerned about the artificial turf but he felt good out there so we kept him on."

Elsewhere, Thailand have re-hired their former coach, the former England and Aston Villa striker Peter Withe, as an advisor for the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Withe, hugely popular in his four years with the Thais, has not coached since he was sacked by Indonesia in January 2007.