Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard made his bow for Los Angeles Galaxy, who came from behind to beat Liga MX club America 2-1 in Carson, California.
Galaxy captain Robbie Keane and substitute Alan Gordon were both on target to lift the reigning MLS champions past America in the opening match of the International Champions Cup (ICC) at Stubhub Center on Saturday.
Gordon came off the bench and directed a header in off the post with 10 minutes remaining after Keane produced a moment of class on the stroke of half-time to cancel out Darwin Quintero’s opener.
But the night belonged to 35-year-old Gerrard.
Designated Player Gerrard, who ended his 26-year-old association with Liverpool in favour of a move to Los Angeles, completed the opening 45 minutes and almost capped his debut with a goal, before he was substituted at the interval.
The contest was end-to-end from the outset and CONCACAF Champions League winners and Mexican giants America were the first team to benefit from the open space courtesy of Quintero in the eighth minute.
Quintero sprung the offside trap and fired the ball through the legs of onrushing Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe.
Up the other end, the Galaxy had a glorious chance to equalise after 15 minutes but Baggio Husidic had his shot blocked for a corner.
Man of the moment, Gerrard, came close to scoring seven minutes later after beating two defenders en route to goal, however, the former England international’s shot was straight at the goalkeeper.
The Galaxy drew level on the stroke of half-time via in-form Irishman Keane, who brought the ball down from the air, deceiving both defender and keeper as he coolly slotted into an empty net.
Almost an entirely different Galaxy line-up emerged for the second half, with coach Bruce Arena mindful of Tuesday’s MLS clash against Real Salt Lake.
And the changes unsurprisingly affected the spectacle, with the second 45 minutes nowhere near as free-flowing as the first half.
The Galaxy though, managed to have the final say after towering forward Gordon rose highest to head across Hugo Gonzalez for the match-winning goal.
America face MLS outfit San Jose Earthquakes in the ICC on Tuesday, while the Galaxy return to action against treble winners Barcelona on July 21.
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