MONTREAL – Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
And the fans – 60,860 in all, a record attendance for a professional soccer match in Montreal – came to see David Beckham ply his trade at the Stade Olympique. The Englishman’s curling free kick in the 62nd minute canceled out the Montreal Impact’s eighth-minute strike from captain Davy Arnaud as the LA Galaxy snatched a 1-1 draw on the road on Saturday.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
With the Galaxy taking the initiative early on and Montreal happy to sit back, it was fitting that the Impact would take the first goal off an assist out of the back by a defender. Under pressure from Landon Donovan, Nelson Rivas spotted Bernardo Corradi upfield and hoofed a long ball towards the Italian striker. The service evaded Corradi and the entire LA defense, giving Arnaud a one-on-one breakaway with Galaxy ‘keeper Brian Perk which the veteran duly put away.
A goal down and badly in need of a result with their 3-5-1 record, the Galaxy started pushing even higher after Arnaud’s goal, particularly full backs Todd Dunivant and Sean Franklin, with a very deep-lying David Beckham covering for either one of them.
The commitment to going forward left LA exposed to the counter, however, and they were nearly burned in the 21st minute when Collen Warner collected an errant pass outside of Montreal’s box and charged up the field with Justin Mapp for a two-on-one against A.J. DeLaGarza.
Postgame Interview: Brian Perk
LA came away unscathed as Warner hooked his shot just wide at the far post, and the miss loomed large in the second half as the Galaxy began to get their attack in gear. Though they looked dangerous, LA had to rely from a dead-ball play off a Rivas foul to finally get the equalizer, as Beckham put in a vintage free kick at goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts’ near post.
The game opened up after the second goal, with both teams pushing numbers up the field, but neither could break the deadlock as the score finished 1-1.
The match marked the second time this season that Montreal have broken an attendance record for professional soccer in the city. The Impact had previously broken the 31-year-old record on March 17, as 58,912 fans saw Montreal play a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire.
Next up for LA is the SuperClasico against Chivas USA on May 19 at the Home Depot Center, while the Impact will try to get even with the New York Red Bulls, who thrashed them 5-2 at Red Bull Arena on March 31.