Galaxy earn draw with Tottenham

Brazilian Lopes cancels out returning Spurs winger Bale’s opener

15:00 July 25, 2012

Carson, California: Tottenham’s Gareth Bale and Los Angeles’ David Junior Lopes scored first-half goals as Spurs and the Galaxy played out a 1-1 draw in a friendly late on Tuesday night.

Bale scored on a brilliant 17th-minute header to give the English club the lead, but Brazilian defender Lopes converted a pass from Hector Jimenez 11 minutes later to pull L.A. level.

The Galaxy were without stars David Beckham, in London for the Olympics, and Landon Donovan, preparing for Wednesday’s MLS All-Star game against Chelsea.

Former Tottenham star Robbie Keane led L.A.’s first-half attack.

Tottenham, playing their first match of a three-game US tour, lost midfielder Rafael van der Vaart and full-back Kyle Walker to injury. Van der Vaart walked off in the 35th minute with an apparent groin injury and Walker was hurt midway through the second half, tumbling into the advertising board behind Spurs’ goal.

Tottentham coach Andre Villas-Boas said both would be sidelined for three to four days.

Bale outjumped the Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez, MLS’ 2011 defender of the year, to send new signing Gylfi Sigurdsson’s cross from the left flank over goalkeeper Brian Perk and into the corner.

“He came back to us during this week, so [we had to] control the amount of effort he could put in,” Villas-Boas said. “Gareth is extremely young [23] and physically a beast, so he was able to put on the effort, and we extended [his time on the pitch] because we want him to complete a certain amount of minutes before we start the season.”

Lopes scored his first goal since joining the Galaxy in April just 11 minutes later, finishing a superb move after Spurs cleared a corner kick.

Marcelo Sarvas found Hector Jimenez sneaking behind Tottenham left-back Sebastien Bassong, curled the ball on to the second-year winger’s foot and Jimenez volleyed it low across the box for Lopes to finish.

L.A. had the better chances the rest of the half, with Keane twice reaching the box unopposed — Walker knocked the ball away in the 33rd minute and goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini saved with a foot in the 39th.

Keane admitted to being a little reluctant to play the game, coming as it did in the midst of a busy spell in the Galaxy’s calendar, but soon warmed to the task.

“It was good to see [Keane],” Villas-Boas said. “I was talking to him in warm-up, trying to tell him to calm down a little bit. His willingness and power and drive is always there, he’s an experienced striker, and he managed to get through our defence a couple of times. In fairness to him, he continues to show his quality.”

The Galaxy made seven changes at half-time, and a young group — two teenagers up front, a rookie in goal, three more on the backline and another in midfield — were forced to defend almost all of the second half.

Tottenham managed several chances, with Jermain Defoe, racing past Gonzalez and into the box, firing just past the left post in the 55th minute.

Tottenham play on Saturday against Liverpool in Baltimore and next Tuesday against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena.

The Galaxy have a friendly on August 2 at home against Spanish champions Real Madrid.