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May 24, 2007

LA Galaxy 0-1 Rangers: Galaxy lose friendly

Andy Webster and Alan Gow made their first appearances for Rangers as Kris Boyd hit the winner in the friendly against LA Galaxy.

Boyd scored the only goal of the match early in the second half and Rangers' defence held up against a shaky Galaxy attack.

A day after closing out their Bank of Scotland Premier League campaign with a 2-0 loss to Aberdeen, Rangers took a flight to Los Angeles on Monday for the clash with the two-time former Major League Soccer champions, and Boyd's tidy finish in the second half made it a winning visit.

• Boyd happy with win

The match provided a welcome chance for manager Walter Smith to see Webster, on loan from Wigan, and Gow, playing as a guest ahead of his summer move from Falkirk, in action for Rangers.

Gow decided to play despite learning of the death of his grandfather earlier in the week, and made his entrance in place of Nacho Novo at half-time.

The long flight, coupled with no training sessions, looked to be taking a toll in the first half as Rangers produced little attacking threat at the Home Depot Center.

Tactically sound, Rangers nevertheless showed little creativity in the final third early on and put little pressure on Galaxy goalkeeper Steve Cronin.

The hosts, meanwhile, had their dangerman on the bench as American international Landon Donovan did not play until the start of the second half.

After winning a free kick on the left flank in the fifth minute, Rangers swung the ball around and eventually saw it land at Alan Hutton's feet.

Hutton fired a cross into the penalty area but Cronin was in good position and plucked the ball from mid-air.

Charlie Adam had a couple of good chances before, in the 17th minute, Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor was called into action when Galaxy striker Santino Quaranta broke loose and ran into the penalty area.

Quaranta hit a 16-yard shot which McGregor managed to kick to safety.

Quaranta was booked in the 33rd minute when he grabbed a handful of Hutton's shirt and took down the Rangers defender.

Burke floated a dangerous cross to the front of the goal in the 41st minute but Galaxy defender Tyrone Marshall cleared.

Gow, wearing number 18, was a welcome sight for the Rangers supporters in the crowd of 15,259 after being given permission by Falkirk to play.

The Galaxy brought Donovan on to start the second half in place of first-year striker Robbie Findley. Donovan assumed his playmaking duties immediately.

Still, it was Rangers who struck first and decisively. Boyd opened the scoring in the 55th minute with a clinical finish from 12 yards.

Hutton sent a cross into the penalty area from the right flank and Boyd did not hesitate to shoot, beating the flat-footed Cronin.

Rangers made their second substitution in the 65th minute when Webster replaced Karl Svensson in the centre of defence. Barely a minute later Webster nearly made an embarrassing mistake when he almost let Donovan in inside the penalty area.

Webster, though, did well to poke the ball out of the area as Donovan closed in on him.

Galaxy midfielder Nathan Sturgis had a shot on goal in the 68th minute but McGregor parried it away.

Rangers made another substitute in the 85th minute when Jordan McMillan came on for Boyd, and Alan Lowing replaced Burke in the 88th minute.

Donovan had the chance to equalise in the 90th minute when he collected a cross inside the penalty area but fired over the bar, and with time running out Rangers made their final substitution as Ross Perry replaced Ian Murray.

  • Boyd happy with win

    Striker Kris Boyd was happy with Rangers' efforts as they recorded a 1-0 win over Major League Soccer side Los Angeles Galaxy in their end-of-season friendly at the Home Depot Center.

    A 15,259 crowd turned up to see the Bank of Scotland Premier League side visit David Beckham's future employers and Boyd, who turned home Alan Hutton's cross to score the winner after 55 minutes, believes it was mission accomplished for Walter Smith's team.

    'It was important to come out here and get a result and we've done that,' said the 23-year-old striker.

    'The chance came and I put it away. As long as I keep getting chances, that's the main thing. I've been able to take the ball and put it in the net.

    'It was a good performance. The season is coming to an end now but we're looking forward to next season,'

    Boyd added: 'Just coming back in the pre-season and get ready to go for next season. Nobody is guaranteed their spot so you just have to come in ready to go.'

    Boyd was also impressed with new strike partner Alan Gow, who joined from Falkirk at the end of the domestic season and only met up with his team-mates at Glasgow Airport on Monday.

    'He did really well for his debut,' Boyd said. 'You watch the games and he's done really well. He's scored a few goals. I'm sure he'll have no problem settling in and doing well next season.'

    Rangers defender David Weir insists the Gers were good value for their win.

    'We knew it was going to be tough because of the nature of the travel. We knew they were a tough team so we're happy.

    'It's tough but I think we did okay,' Weir added. 'The circumstances are always going to be difficult but I think the lads applied themselves well. That says well about us.'

    Galaxy head coach Frank Yallop did not get the result he was looking for, but remained upbeat about the meeting.

    'I thought it was an entertaining game from the fans' perspective. Not the result that I wanted, of course. When you think about the line-up we had and the way we played late in the game, we got back into the game when we brought on most of our senior guys. These are the kind of games we try to win, but it is only a friendly, and we are protecting people for next weekend's league play.'

    One area that former England skipper Beckham, who will link up with the side when his Real Madrid contract expires, may be able to help with is the side's limited attacking threat - a shortcoming Yallop is aware of.

    'If we're not scoring, then we have a problem. Yes, we're not as dangerous as I would like. We do have players that are not available. but we are looking at other players to bring in.

    'At some point, you have to look at our injury list and understand that we don't have a full complement of players. I thought our performance was good. I thought we passed the ball well at times but the finishing and the goalscoring is not there, and that's for us to work on and we will get there and we will win some games.'

    Galaxy goalkeeper, Steve Cronin, meanwhile, was just happy to play against Rangers.

    'It was good experience for me. They're one of the most storied clubs in the world. They brought their first team in the first half, so it was good to play against those guys, but I think overall, we played all right against them.'

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