It was Beckham’s second appearance, and second defeat, in Australia as a Galaxy player having gone down 5-3 to Sydney FC in 2007.
Newcastle were without a number of key players going into the game including Michael Bridges, Francis Jeffers, Ljubo Milicevic and goalkeeper Ben Kennedy and they looked fragile early on.
The visitors took the lead after just six minutes when Beckham crossed in from the right hand side and USA skipper Landon Donovan was on hand to bundle the ball home. Midfielder Juninho should have had a second for his side soon after when his stunning long range effort crashed off the underside of the bar and bounced down over the line but it was missed by the officials.
At the other end, veteran Sasho Petrovski forced Galaxy keeper Donovan Ricketts into a smart save, while Ali Abbas fired wide when he should have done better. The Newcastle pressure did eventually pay off and it was Petrovski who finished from six yards following Abbas’ centre.
As with most friendly games, there were wholesale changes at the interval and it was one of the Jets subs, Labinot Haliti, who put his side in front when he latched on to a long ball from Kasey Wehrman to score despite the attention of a number of defenders.
The game fizzled out somewhat in the last half hour, though there were still chances at either end. Afterwards Beckham said he hoped to return to Australia some time in the near future.
“Maybe third time lucky,” he said. “It’s obviously disappointing to lose the game tonight but we’ll be back.”
It’s an important week for Australian football as they go up against the United States in a bid to host the 2022 World Cup, and Jets coach Branko Culina was pleased with how the game went.
“We’ve played some good football and tonight was a continuation of that but I think it was more than that,” he said. “It was great to see a tremendous crowd here and hopefully many of them will come back, would have enjoyed what they saw and will come back and support the team again.”
A decision on who will host World Cup 2022 will be made on 3 December 2010.