SLIDESHOW: LA Galaxy scores clinical win over Azkals

By Photos, Story by Camille B. Naredo

Posted at Dec 03 2011 08:56 PM | Updated as of Dec 16 2011 08:14 PM

 MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - The Los Angeles Galaxy gave the Philippine Azkals a lesson in championship football and thrilled football fans at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

The Major League Soccer champions LA Galaxy defeated the Azkals, 6-1, in an exhibition game in the second leg of the Galaxy's Asia Pacific Tour.

The LA Galaxy showcased strong passing, especially in the midfield, but the Azkals kept in step with the champions in the first half.

The Azkals were able to threaten the Galaxy defense numerous times, with Phil Younghusband and Chieffy Caligdong both having sorry misses early in the first half.

A capacity crowd at the Rizal Memorial went wild when superstar David Beckham broke ice in the 20th minute, scoring on a cross that went past the outstretched arms of Philippine goal keeper Edward Sacapano.

Another goal by Mike MaGee gave the Galaxy a 2-nil lead in the 38th minute, sending the crowd into a frenzy anew.

But Younghusband finally broke through in the 46th minute, allowing the Azkals to get on board, 2-1.

Carly de Murga had a chance to equalize for the Azkals late in the first half, but his shot just missed the target. Galaxy went into halftime with a 1-goal lead.

The second half would be a goal-fest for the LA Galaxy, as Adam Cristman scored twice (62nd, 87th minute), and Robbie Keane (46th minute) and Greg Belhalter (penalty kick) scored 1 goal each.

Ian Araneta had a chance to give the Azkals another goal, but was tackled by a Galaxy defender before he could make the attempt.

Both coaches, Bruce Arena of the LA Galaxy and Michael Weiss of the Azkals, substituted players numerous times during the game to give playing time to as many players as possible.

Tale of two halves

For Weiss, it was a tale of two halves. The Azkals were highly impressive in the first half and came close to scoring many times.

But the second half was an entirely different matter with Galaxy taking control of the game and showing their superior conditioning.

Weiss expressed his disappointment with his players' effort in the second half when the Azkals seemingly lost focus while the Galaxy pushed the pace of the game.

"If you lose concentration against a team like LA Galaxy, you will get punished," Weiss said.

Younghusband and Caligdong both said that the experience was a lesson for them, especially for the upcoming AFC Challenge cup in January 2012.

Great trip

Meanwhile, the Galaxy players, especially Beckham and Landon Donovan, expressed their thanks to Filipinos for their hospitality.

"It's been fantastic," Donovan said.

Both players said they would like to return to the Philippines, with head coach Arena also complimenting Caligdong, Younghusband and Angel Guirado for their strong play in the game.