David Beckham watched from the bench as the Los Angeles Galaxy suffered a 2-1 defeat by Chivas Guadalajara in their SuperLiga group match at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday.
Second-half goals from Francisco Rodriguez and Omar Bravo gave the Mexican side the victory before Landon Donovan grabbed a late consolation for Galaxy.
Chivas held firm to secure the win to leave Galaxy needing a victory against FC Dallas on Tuesday in Texas to advance.
Beckham was a surprise inclusion in the Galaxy squad having been categorically ruled by Galaxy head coach Frank Yallop with an ankle injury.
He had failed to train all week following a 12 minute substitute appearance against Chelsea last Saturday and also missed Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Mexico’s CF Pachuca at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
Chivas welcomed back the majority of their players who helped Mexico reach the semi-finals of the Copa America in Venezuela earlier this month.
Galaxy goalkeeper Joe Cannon was tested early on with long range efforts before Omar Arellano cut in from the left on the half hour and sent a shot just over the bar from just inside the area.
The home side received another reprieve 11 minutes before the break when Chivas captain Ramon Morales raced past Abel Xavier into the area and saw Cannon parry his shot into the path of Sergio Santana, who somehow managed to pull his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Morales came close again a minute later as Cannon was forced to dive full length to turn away the midfielder’s free-kick from outside of the area.
The Galaxy had made one change from the team that started against Pachuca, bringing in Quavas Kirk for injured midfielder Kyle Martino, and they were forced into another change when striker Alan Gordon was replaced by Peter Vagenas five minutes before the break.
Arellano had another shot saved low by Cannon in first-half injury time before Chivas broke the deadlock a minute before the hour mark as Omar Esparza sent in a cross from the right for fellow defender Rodriguez to head past Cannon from inside the area.
Vagenas came closest to levelling the score six minutes later as his low shot from the edge of the area was turned around the Chivas post Ernseto Michel.
Carlos Pavon headed wide from close range with 14 minutes remaining after being picked out by Donovan before Chivas doubled their lead six minutes later as Morales’ cross from the left was missed by Xavier at the near post for substitute striker Bravo to slot home from close range.
Donovan pulled a goal back for the Galaxy with two minutes remaining as the USA international pounced on a defensive error to beat Michel.