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Galaxy crowned champions
Published : 21 Nov 2011 08:46:50
Landon Donovan's second-half winner gave the Los Angeles Galaxy a 1-0 victory against the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup final on Sunday night in what could prove to be David Beckham's last game for the club.
Donovan latched onto Robbie Keane's pass in the 72nd minute and dinked a classy finish over Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall, much to the delight of a sell-out crowd of 30,281 inside the rainy Home Depot Center.
The win handed former England captain Beckham, whose five-year contract expires next month, his first title in the United States.
The Galaxy bossed possession in the first half and had much the better of the chances, but were unable to capitalise. Adam Cristman should have put Los Angeles ahead in the 11th minute when he found himself unmarked from Beckham's corner, but he headed wide.
The Dynamo almost gifted their rivals the lead a minute later when a defensive mix-up between Jermaine Taylor and Geoff Cameron allowed Cristman in again, but he lost his footing in the area.
Donovan then had a couple of sights of goal, the first after neat interplay with Robbie Keane, but failed to trouble Hall. Keane found himself through on goal in the 41st minute from Juninho's pass, but Hall got out well to smother the danger.
Houston's only on-target effort of the first half came a minute before the break with a long-range effort from Danny Cruz which was comfortably dealt with by LA keeper Josh Saunders.
Keane beat the offside trap three minutes into the second half but sent his cross-shot just wide. The Republic of Ireland captain thought he had given his side the lead in the 56th minute when he took Beckham's pass on his chest and slotted the ball through the keeper's legs, but he was adjudged offside.
Scottish midfielder Adam Moffat could have shocked the Galaxy in the 65th minute but directed his header wide when well placed, and seven minutes later the Dynamo were behind. Beckham's flick-on found Keane, who played in Donovan, and the Galaxy's record scorer added another to his tally by lifting the ball over the outstretched hand of Hall.
Donovan could have returned the favour for Keane seven minutes later but opted to go alone and his 20-yard shot was saved by Hall, albeit at the second attempt. Beckham almost added a second goal with a trademark free-kick in the third minute of stoppage time. Hall palmed it away from the top corner, but the Galaxy had done enough. The final whistle sounded moments later, confirming Los Angeles' first title since 2005 and securing a league-record three crowns for coach Bruce Arena.