FC Seoul Downs Galaxy in PKs

The Los Angeles Galaxy were defeated in penalty kicks by Korean side FC Seoul in an exhibition game on Saturday night. The friendly marks the latest loss in a disappointing preseason tour of Hawaii and Asia that has seen the Galaxy win just once - over Sydney FC in the third-place game of the Pan-Pacific Championship.

Alan Gordon put Los Angeles ahead in the 20th minute, floating a quickly-taken free kick into the box to an unmarked Alan Gordon, who chested the ball into the air before volleying it past Seoul keeper Kim Ho-Jun. It wasn't all good news for Gordon, however, as the Galaxy forward had to be removed later in the game with an injury.

Ruud Gullit's team would only hold the lead for 10 minutes as the troublesome Galaxy defense continued to give away multiple chances to the opposition, eventually culminating in a goal after former Newcastle defender Celestine Babayaro was judged to have taken down a Seoul player in the penalty area. Jung Jo-Gook calmly nailed the resulting PK straight down the middle and past a diving Steve Cronin to level the score.

The game went to penalties after ending in a 1-1 stalemate, with David Beckham being the first LA player to step up to the spot. His effort would hit the back of the net, but the four following Galaxy attempts were all turned away by Kim Ho-Jun, propelling FC Seoul to victory after their second successful try.

"We were disappointed to lose on penalties, but penalties are like that - there has to be a winner and a loser," said Beckham. "The overall play of the team in the first 30 minutes was good, some of the best football I've played with the Galaxy."There were some positives to take away from the match, namely the precision long passes shown off by Beckham and ability of recently re-acquired forward Carlos Ruiz to create chances for an offense that was dull at best in 2007.

However, Los Angeles must now deal with another injury to a potential starter (Gordon); forward Edson Buddle earlier suffered a dislocated shoulder during the Pan-Pacific Championship, leaving the shaky crop of Galaxy forward looking even more thin as the MLS regular season draws closer.

Before focus can be turned to the upcoming season, Los Angeles will take part in two more exhibition matches on their whirlwind tour of Asia: Hong Kong United in Shanghai on Wednesday and then the finale against Hong Kong Union on March 9th.

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