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David Beckham sprains right knee as Galaxy loses to Pachuca

David Beckham sprains right knee as Galaxy loses to Pachuca

David Beckham left the field in with a sprained right knee the 30th minute as the Los Angeles Galaxy went on to lose the Superliga final 4-3 on penalty kicks to Mexico's Pachuca.
Carlos Rodriguez's kick into the right corner of the net past goalkeeper Joe Cannon gave Pachuca a 4-3 lead in the shootout after the two teams finished 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime tied at 1-1. Abel Xavier missed wide right for Los Angeles, ending the marathon match.
The SuperLiga championship was the only title match the Galaxy will likely play in this season. Its chances of making the Major League Soccer playoffs are slim.
Beckham, who injured his knee after taking a fall, rejoined his team on the bench for overtime and the penalty kicks before limping off the field in a suit and tie.
"It's just gone from one thing to another thing," said Beckham, whose nagging left ankle injury had already limited his playing time.
"Maybe it's time for me to just say, `I need the rest,' and get it right and don't come back until it's right."
Pachuca won the trophy and the $1 million (euro730,000) prize in the inaugural Superliga tournament that involved four MLS teams and four teams from Mexico's first division.
After the second-place medal was placed around his neck, Beckham immediately took it off.
"I hate losing," he said.
The SuperLiga title is the fourth championship won by Pachuca in the last year. "Los Tuzos" also won the Mexican title, the CONCACAF Champions Cup and the Copa Sudamericana title.
Pachuca led 1-0 when Galaxy midfielder Peter Vagenas put the ball in his own net in the 28th minute. He collapsed in despair against the back of the net as the pro-Pachuca crowd roared.
In the 86th minute, Landon Donovan's deflection was stopped by Pachuca goalkeeper Miguel Calero, then the ball fell out of his clutches and narrowly missed rolling into the net. Donovan slapped his hands to his head in frustration.
After a string of agonizing misses, Chris Klein tied it at 1-1 on a brilliant bicycle kick in second-half stoppage time.
Donovan later missed a chance to win it when his penalty kick was saved by a diving Calero.
During a scoreless first half, Beckham and Pachuca midfielder Fernando Salazar each went after the ball just outside the Mexican club's penalty area. Beckham tripped over the ball and fell. He lay face down on the grass for a few seconds before getting up and hobbling off the field, signaling to the bench he needed to come out.
"I'm devastated to have been taken out of the game when I was because I was looking forward to this game," he said. "I've been given the rest to try and get my ankle feeling better and it felt better."
Initially, Beckham's injury was announced as a strain. But after he was examined at halftime, the team said he had a sprain.
"I'm going to have a scan tomorrow and we'll see the full extent of what it is and how long I'll be out, but at the moment, it doesn't feel great," he said.
Salazar left because of a sprained right knee, which, like Beckham's injury, was initially announced as a strain. Alan Gordon replaced Beckham in the 33rd minute, triggering massive booing from the crowd of 12,500.
Beckham made his way to a wall on the sideline, bent over and held on to it before a Galaxy staff member arrived to help him to the bench. He sat down and had his right leg taped, then buried his head in his hands. At halftime, Beckham gingerly walked across the field to the tunnel.
He did not return for the second half.
But Beckham came out to watch overtime dressed in a gray suit, white shirt and black tie. He sat on the bench with his right leg extended.
At the end of the second overtime, Beckham limped onto the field to join his teammates as they regrouped for penalty kicks, clapping his hands in encouragement.
"I needed to be out there and cheer on the lads," he said.
Beckham's ankle injury occurred before he joined the Galaxy on July 13.
The Galaxy's next MLS game is at home Saturday against Real Salt Lake. Beckham was expected to leave Sunday to join England for 10 days to play in two Euro 2008 qualifying matches, but it was not immediately known how his injury might affect those plans.
"At this stage, it's hard to tell, but it doesn't feel good," Beckham said. "With a ligament strain, it's 4-to-6 weeks. We'll have to wait and see."
Attendance was capped at 12,500 in the 27,000-seat stadium for Wednesday's match.
The Galaxy wore black armbands to honor 22-year-old Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta, who died Tuesday after collapsing on the field in Spain.


Updated : 2021-02-25 13:30 GMT+08:00