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Juninho, Beckham lead Galaxy past Whitecaps, 2-0

AP - Sports

CARSON, Calif. (AP) -- Juninho scored his sixth goal in his past five games and David Beckham connected on a late free kick to lead the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-0 victory against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night.

Juninho struck to the upper-right corner from 28 yards in the 41st minute after Robbie Keane redirected Hector Jimenez's pass from the right wing to put Los Angeles (13-11-4) ahead. Beckham curled a shot from 25 yards into the upper-left corner in the 79th for his sixth score in his last eight matches.

The Galaxy, who have 10 wins - including seven shutouts - in their last 15 MLS games, moved up to third place in the Western Conference, even with Seattle on points but ahead in total goals.

Vancouver (10-11-7), which has a five-point cushion in the battle for the West's final playoff berth, lost its fourth straight to match its longest skid since joining MLS last season. The Whitecaps had only one shot, a glancing Kenny Miller header well off target late in the first half.

''We've definitely played better this season, but it was a big win,'' Beckham said. ''Juni's goal was incredible. When he's got his shooting boots on, there's not many goalkeepers that can stop him. My goal just brought the pressure back off of us.''

Juninho scored twice in the Galaxy's Aug. 12 romp over Chivas USA, twice more in the Aug. 23 CONCACAF Champions League victory over El Salvador's Isidro Metapan, and the winner in last weekend's win over FC Dallas.

Los Angeles nearly doubled the lead in the first minute of the second half, but Brad Knighton knocked away a shot by Keane and Jun Davidson cleared Hector Jimenez's shot from Keane's pass off the goal line.

''We've got to make sure we build on the things which are positive and fix a few things that obviously have to be better,'' Vancouver coach Martin Rennie said. ''We must be creating more chances in the game and maybe need to look at a couple of things with our system, because we're not creating enough chances.''

Two crucial officiating decisions went against the Galaxy in the first half. Referee Baldomero Toledo awarded a corner kick, rather than a penalty kick, after a sliding Martin Bonjour blocked Keane's pass in Vancouver's box with his left arm in the 27th minute. Keane scored from Marcelo Sarvas' through ball five minutes later, but he was flagged offside, a ruling disputed by replays.

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