CARSON, Calif. – David Junior Lopes answered Gareth Bale's superb header, and the LA Galaxy claimed a 1-1 draw with England's Tottenham Hotspur in a friendly Tuesday night at The Home Depot Center.
Highlights: LA 1, THFC 1
Bale's header gave Tottenham a 17th-minute lead, and Lopes, with his first goal since joining LA in April, netted the equalizer in the 28th.
Tottenham, which opens the English Premier League season Aug. 18 at Newcastle United, withstood an impressive first-half appearance by the Galaxy, with former Spurs star Robbie Keane the primary target.
The Galaxy, who also face Real Madrid in an August 2nd friendly at The Home Depot Center, went with a younger lineup after halftime and were fortunate to hold on for the draw.
LA head coach Bruce Arena gave No. 2 goalkeeper Brian Perk his first start since May and rookie Jose Villarreal, the hero in the victory over Vancouver six days earlier, was in the first XI for the first time.
Tottenham's starting lineup included Rafael Van der Vaart and Jermain Defoe, but American goalkeeper Brad Friedel didn't feature. Van der Vaart departed after 35 minutes with an apparent groin injury, heading straight to the locker room.
Spurs had the better of the early chances, forcing Perk into two good saves, and the third time was the charm.
Gylfi Sigurdsson – a new arrival, from Hoffenheim in Germany – swung a ball from the left. Bale, about 13 yards out, outleapt Omar Gonzalez, flicking the cross over a leaping Perk into the upper-left corner.
Omar Gonzalez Postgame Interview
The lead lasted just 11 minutes, though. Hector Jimenez sprinted in behind left back Sebastien Bassong as Marcelo Sarvas curled the ball onto his path, and he volleyed it back across the box for Lopes to stab home.
Keane was a handful for the Spurs' backline during his 45-minute stint, battling gamely with Ajax transfer Jan Vertonghen and twice threatened, only to be denied by Spurs full back Kyle Walker and goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.
The Galaxy made seven substitutions at halftime; Tottenham just two, bringing on six more players during the second half. Among LA's changes: rookie goalkeeper Brian Rowe making his club debut, Mike Magee returning from a shin injury, rookies Rafael Garcia and Tommy Meyer moving onto the backline, and Jack McBean joining fellow teen Villarreal up front.
With LA fielding a less experienced lineup in the second half, Tottenham dominated the proceedings, but were unable to regain the lead despite a good look for Defoe and penalty appeals from Bale, Sigurdsson and youngster Harry Kane.
The game was the fourth friendly the Galaxy has played against English opposition, though they have yet to win one of those games.
LA have an MLS game Saturday night at FC Dallas while Tottenham's US tour continues with games Saturday against Liverpool in Baltimore and next Tuesday against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena.