Beckham backs Kewell decision

David Beckham believes Melbourne Victory did the right thing by opting to rest Harry Kewell from Tuesday night's friendly with LA Galaxy.

David Beckham believes Melbourne Victory did the right thing by opting to rest Harry Kewell from Tuesday night's friendly with LA Galaxy.

Beckham's Galaxy side, the MLS champions, concluded their Asian tour at Etihad Stadium with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win over Victory for the Hyundai Club Challenge, with the score locked at 2-2 after 90 minutes.

Victory coach Mehmet Durakovic rested Kewell and took off Carlos Hernandez, Archie Thompson, Adrian Leijer and goalkeeper Ante Covic at half-time to ensure all would be fit and firing for Saturday night's crunch A-League clash with Adelaide United at Etihad.

Beckham was forced off himself with a hamstring complaint late on in the match, and he said it was right that Kewell was left out.

"I'm sure the fans were a little bit disappointed because they want to see Harry play," Beckham said. "But I think Victory have got important games coming up, league games."

"As much as you want to please everybody and the fans, it's important that he's fit for the league games."

While Beckham was not at his best during the match, he did provide the crowd of 34,608 with some highlights.

Some of his long-range passing, particularly early in the second half, was sublime and his spectacular attempt to loft the ball over Covic from inside his own half was reminiscent of his stunning goal for Manchester United against Wimbledon in 1996.

"I was just waiting for it to turn, I knew I had the 'keeper," he said. "I knew if it was on target it was going to go in, but it just didn't turn."

Beckham said he had enjoyed catching up with Victory midfielder Grant Brebner on the pitch, with the pair previously playing together in the Manchester United youth set-up in the mid 1990s.

"I remember Grant Brebner from Man United days, it was nice to see him," he said. "I was chatting to him during the game and I hadn't seen him for years."

"He's definitely looking older and I'm sure he's saying the same about me. It was nice to see him and play against him. We swapped shirts as well."

Beckham paid tribute to Victory and said they had given the American champions all they could handle throughout the 90 minutes.

"I think the Victory, they're a very good team they've got some good players," he said.

"Obviously it was our third game in seven days and to get another win, on a tour that we've been very successful on, it means a lot."

"It's nice to play in a great stadium like this, in front of fans that want to there to watch both teams."

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena echoed Beckham's sentiments.

"I think it was a nice exhibition for the people that came out," Arena said.

"The Victory played very well tonight. At times in the first half they ran us over and played quite well."

"I thought in the first half they created a number of good chances and in the second half we did. I think that's probably the kind of game fans want to watch anyway. It was pretty open, there were chances created."