WASHINGTON – The Charlie Davies story book continues to get more chapters.
An 89th-minute penalty earned and finished by the US international salvaged a 1-1 draw for 10-men D.C. United against the LA Galaxy Saturday night at RFK Stadium.
Mike Magee’s first-half goal from a David Beckham corner kick almost stood up as the difference thanks to a stout Galaxy defensive performance, but Davies spoiled the ending with his stoppage-time penalty.
WATCH: Highlights - LA 1, DC 1
LA traveled to the nation’s capital without Landon Donovan, who was held out with a leg injury, while DC coach Ben Olsen tabbed three rookies in his starting lineup – Chris Korb, Ethan White and Blake Brettschneider.
Beckham’s set-piece abilities in 2011 have made the difference several times for the Galaxy, and it was no different on this night. After Juninho forced a save from DC goalkeeper Bill Hamid, Beckham’s curling corner in the 12th minute was nodded in by Magee, quieting the United supporters.
After the goal, DC spent more time on the ball, probing and passing in search of an equalizer, but they struggled to break down the LA defense. The Galaxy back line, led by the back-to-health Omar Gonzalez, absorbed pressure and looked to counter. Magee nearly doubled the lead, but Ethan White was able to clear his shot off the line.
Olsen brought Davies on in the 53rd minute in place of Brettschneider. His presence had an immediate impact, as Josh Wolff rushed onto a through ball and forced a good play from goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who came off his line to clear.
But whatever United threw at LA, Gonzalez and his central defense partner, Leonardo, were able to keep United at bay. Chris Pontius tested Ricketts with a 75th-minute header, but the Jamaican 'keeper was quick to bat the shot away.
Santino Quaranta picked up a second yellow card in the 84th minute after clipping Juan Pablo Angel with a studs-up challenge.
After the sending off, Davies sparked to life. Collecting the ball on the left side, he came up one on one with Gonzalez. He made a quick move to the endline and tumbled at the first hint of contact from the LA defender. Replays show it was a highly dubious call, but the whistle had blown and Davies put away his spot kick with a soft chip down the middle.
The Galaxy almost retook the lead in the dying seconds. Sean Franklin raced onto a low cross at the far post, and with an open net, could only send his one-time shot over the bar.
LA -- Mike Magee 1 (David Beckham 3) 12 WATCH NOW
DC -- Charlie Davies 4 (penalty kick) 90
LA Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts, A.J. DeLaGarza, Leonardo, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin, David Beckham (Jovan Kirovski 81), Juninho, Mike Magee, Juan Pablo Angel (Chad Barrett 89), Miguel Lopez (Paolo Cardozo 75).
Substitutes Not Used: Frankie Hejduk, Bryan Jordan, Michael Stephens, Josh Saunders.
D.C. United -- Bill Hamid, Chris Korb (Andy Najar 72), Dejan Jakovic, Ethan White, Marc Burch, Santino Quaranta, Dax McCarty (Branko Boskovic 81), Clyde Simms, Chris Pontius, Josh Wolff, Blake Brettschneider (Charlie Davies 53).
Substitutes Not Used: Fred, Joseph Ngwenya, Daniel Woolard, Pat Onstad.
LA -- Todd Dunivant (caution; Reckless Foul) 29
DC -- Santino Quaranta (caution; Reckless Foul) 39
LA -- David Beckham (caution; Reckless Tackle) 41
DC -- Santino Quaranta (caution; Reckless Foul) 84
DC -- Santino Quaranta (ejection; Second Caution) 84
LA -- Jovan Kirovski (ejection; Abusive Language) 95+
Referee: Abiodun Okulaja
Referee's Assistants: Chris Strickland; Adam Garner
4th Official: John McCloskey
Time of Game: 1:51