FRISCO, Texas (Tuesday, July 31, 2007) -- The capacity crowd of 21,576 didn't get to see David Beckham's official debut for the Los Angeles Galaxy, as originally promised, but did get to witness 11 goals as L.A. held off a late charge by the FC Dallas to prevail 6-5 in a wild Superliga Group A match at Pizza Hut Park tonight.
After winning the meeting between Major League Soccer teams, Los Angeles won Group A with a 2-1 record (six points) and advanced to the semifinals. In Commerce City Colo., Pachuca then defeated CD Gaudalajara 1-0 in the second match and grabbed the group's second berth in the semifinals. Both teams were 1-1-1, but Pachuca moved on because it won the head-to-head battle with the clubs from Mexico. Dallas finished last at 0-1-2 with two points
Group B will be competed tonight. The Houston Dynamo hosts D.C. United at Robertston Stadium at 8 p.m., followed by a match between Mexican teams, Club América facing Monarcas Morelia, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., at 10 p.m. Both games will be televised by Spanish-language Telefutura.
The MLS duo of United and the Dynamo are tied atop Group B at 1-0-1 with four points, each with a plus-1 goal differential. Morelia is next at 0-0-2 with two points and a zero goal differential, with Club América (0-2-0, 0, minus-2) bringing up the rear and eliminated from moving on to the semifinals.
A Club América victory or draw with Morelia tonight would insure both MLS teams would advance to the semifinals.
The Galaxy scored on six of its seven shots on goal. Overall, FCD held a 25-8 edge in shots, 11-7 of those on frame. "I'm very disappointed in our team's performance, especially in the first 20 minutes," Dallas coach Steve Morrow told SportsTicker. "I'm proud of the way the guys came back in the second half, but going 4-0 down in a big game like this makes it very hard to get back into it."
Los Angeles lead 4-0 after 18 minutes, but had to hold on after a late rally by Dallas. "Our finishing was almost perfect," Donovan told SportsTicker. "We can obviously defend better. We understood that if you got down 4-1 at home, you're going to come out flying to get goals back. They are a good team with good players and eventually, they are going to break you down."
With Beckham sidelined with a sore ankle, Alan Gordon scored two goals and Landon Donovan added a goal and three assists for L.A. Gordon scored in the third and 15 minutes and the Galaxy was ahead 4-1 with 12 minutes remaining in regulation and 5-3 heading into stoppage time.
"Obviously, it's great to get through (to the semifinals). That was the first thing we wanted to accomplish in the match," Galaxy coach Frank Yallop told SportsTicker. "Scoring six goals against FC Dallas at their home is very difficult to do, but conceding five wasn't good. Going four goals up after 17 minutes, there aren't many times you have that happen in a game. We couldn't decide what to do next - sit back or keep charging."
Carlos Ruiz brought Dallas to within 5-4 with a goal one minute into injury time, but Donovan responded in the 95th minute to restore the L.A. advantage to 6-4. A minute later, FCD again pulled to within one when Abe Thompson found net.
Joe Cannon made six saves for the Galaxy, who were outshot by FC Dallas, 11-7. Dario Sala had one save for FC Dallas.
"I thought (Joe Cannon) made some unbelievable saves, especially at the start of the second half," Morrow said. "We thought we could get a couple of early goals in the second half and put them under some real pressure, but it was a long time before that first goal came. He was the difference in the game."