It was neither pretty nor convincing, but the Galaxy (4-3-2) secured a 3-1 win against the Wizards (3-3-2) Saturday to go top of the Western Conference against a team that ceded more territory than the French in the Ardennes Forest in WW II.
A soft penalty won by a diving Landon Donovan (worth about an 8.5 at least) in the 54th minute and a winner by Edson Buddle that had a whiff of offside about it 20 minutes later gave the Galaxy the three points.
David Beckham added the third seconds before the end, when Kevin Hartman left his goal to come up for a last-ditch Wizards corner kick. Becks collected the clearance on the outside of his own box, dribbled up the wing, heard the crowd yelling that Hartman was well out of position, looked up and sent a long shot from about 70 yards into the empty net.
The Wizards also had a shot cleared off the line, while Buddle hit the crossbar five minutes from time.
Carlos Ruiz came on in the 86th minute and with his first touch tried to win a free kick – or penalty – in or near the Wizards box. He didn’t get the call.
Incidentally, Joe Franchino was pulled just before half time in favor of Ely Allen in what was a tactical move.
Allen was guilty of a horrendous miss on the hour mark, when Beckham squared the ball to him perfectly only to see it completely mishit just outside the box.
Back with more from the locker rooms later.