LA GALAXY beat the Oceania All Stars 3-0 at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland with David Beckham looking in good touch.
Beckham's well-placed crosses and quick, accurate passing game were major contributers to all three of the goals scored in the first half as the All Stars seemed to have little to offer the visiting Major League side.
In front of a small but vocal turnout of 16,600 fans, the Galaxy and Beckham proved what being a professional football outfit was all about and exposed the class difference between themselves and the Oceania team.
It seemed fitting that Beckham would have the first shot of the historic match when he fired a hard and straight kick that was well deflected over the bar by All Star keeper Mark Bosnich.
The Galaxy weren't to be denied a second time a few seconds later when Jovan Kirovski expertly fielded a high kick and blasted a fine shot into the lower left hand corner of the net.
With only three minutes gone and the score sitting at 1-0 the game, things were looking good for the Galaxy players who were beating their markers and finding all sorts of attacking opportunities early in the game.
Beckham gave the home fans something to cheer about when he took the first corner of the game although was easily denied as Bosnich effortlessly plucked his attempt from the air.
After Galaxy defender Mike Randolph was illegally tripped in the 12th minute Beckham was able to have another crack and his strike looked good, although once again Bosnich held his own.
Things were beginning to look a little desperate for the Oceanic team and it soon turned worse when Eddie Lewis sent a great cross in from the right hand side and allowed Alan Gordon to head in the Galaxy's second of the night in the 14th minute.
Oceania's defence seemed to have found some structure and allowed players such as former Dutch international Edgar Davids and Solomon Islands midfielder Henry Faarodo to have some ball time and the opportunity to set up some attacking phases.
This led to the All Stars to have their first genuine shot at goal through Esala Masi although the shot sailed metres over the crossbar.
Play was called to an abrupt halt in the 30th minute when Beckham took a serious looking dive after an alleged ankle tap that soon led to the 33-year-old having a penalty shot from right outside the box.
The shot was deflected by an All Stars player, bringing Beckham back to the corner in front of thousands of screaming fans.
This time Beckham's cross was on target and found midfielder Brandon McDonald over the far side of the box who was able to score an uninterrupted header to take the game to 3-0 in the 32nd minute.
Several minutes of very precarious football followed as Bosnich was tested time and time again as the Galaxy forwards found their way through some big gaps in the All Stars defence although were unable to score again before the end of the half.
All Stars defender Ivan Vicelich was kept busy as more and more of Beckham's kicks threatened the home sides' net, although the former All White was up to the task each time and kept the Galaxy out for the remainder The Galaxy was left waiting for around five minutes before the All Stars made their way back onto the Mt Smart Stadium pitch, knowing full-well the challenge that lay ahead of them in the second half.
The opening 10 minutes looked as if the Galaxy was practicing their combinations as the urgency they possessed in the first half seemed to be replaced by some complacency knowing the three point lead would be as tough one to lose.
The substitutes began entering play with 25 minutes of the game remaining as neither side looked dangerous and play remained slow.
A well-worked move down the right saw the galaxy in a strong attacking situation and again it was Beckham at the helm who crossed a kick that narrowly avoided being headed in.
Galaxy midfielder Josh Tudela became the first to be red-carded of the evening after an illegal tackle and some back chat resulted in him being sent from the field.
Davids was able to take a rare shot in the 79th minute after being brought down illegally although was unable to score in his desperate attempt as his shot sailed high over the crossbar.
The 80th minute spelt the end of Beckham who had done enough to please the thousands of fans who had turned out to see their hero and also enough to help his team to what looked to be an easy victory.
The remaining ten minutes saw the All Stars desperately attempt to score a consolation goal, but it wasn't to be as the whistle signalled the end of the match with the Galaxy securing a well-earned 3-0 win.
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