David Beckham and Robbie Keane help LA Galaxy reach MLS final

 

David Beckham and Robbie Keane helped LA Galaxy beat Real Salt Lake 3-1 in the Western Conference championship game last night, setting up a league-deciding MLS Cup clash against Houston Dynamo.

Houston beat Sporting Kansas City 2-0 earlier on Sunday to win the Eastern Conference title in a fiercely-contested encounter in Kansas City, but the Dynamo were deserved winners after grabbing control of the game from the early stages.

Landon Donovan gave Galaxy the lead with a 23rd minute penalty and after Alvaro Saborio equalized two minutes later, Beckham's curling cross found the head of Mike Magee to put them 2-1 ahead in the 58th minute.

With Real pushing for the equalizer, Irishman Keane took advantage of the gaps at the back and sealed the win in the 68th minute.

Real, with defender Jamison Olave back in the starting lineup after a picking up a quad injury in the Western semi-finals, had their chances with Kyle Beckerman hitting the post just before half-time.

Galaxy, who lost to Real in the 2009 MLS Cup, had the best regular season record and cruised past the New York Red Bulls in the Major League Soccer conference semi-finals.

Beckham could be playing his last season in Los Angeles with his lucrative five-year contract set to expire at the end of this campaign but he said he was focusing on the Cup, not his future.

"I'm a Galaxy player right now. I'm 36-years-old and I still enjoy soccer," he told reporters. "Right now we're focused on the Cup. We don't want to get too carried away. We did that a couple years ago and paid for it."

In Kansas City, Andre Hainault scrambled Houston in front in the 53rd minute after Jermaine Taylor got on the end of an Adam Moffat free kick.

Moments later, Houston had a huge chance to double the advantage but Luiz Camargo hesitated badly in front of goal and the Sporting defense managed to clear.

Sporting, previously known as the Kansas City Wizards, renamed themselves this season to coincide with their move to their own new stadium, Livestrong Sporting Park.

The venue was packed with a record 20,800 crowd hoping to see their team reach their first MLS final since 2004 but for all the support, coach Peter Vermes's team struggled to impose themselves.

Houston, who did not win in their opening 15 games on the road in the regular season, won the midfield battle despite losing key playmaker Brad Davis to injury in the 39th minute.

Davis has been the single most influential figure in Houston's run to the final and they will now be hoping he is fit for the game in Los Angeles on Nov. 20.

"It is too early to say," said Davis of his chances of making that game. "I just couldn't be more proud of the spirit we showed, it was thoroughly deserved."

Dynamo, MLS champions in 2006 and 2007, made sure of the victory in the 87th minute when Honduran forward Carlo Costly broke clear and blasted home confidently.

Sporting threw everything forward in the latter stages but despite a few penalty area scrambles, they created little in the way of real chances and paid the price for their lack of inventiveness against Dominic Kinnear's well-organised side.

Galaxy will host Dynamo in the league decider on November 20.

Reuters

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Buddy DeFranco
people
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month