The Galaxy continue to dominate the Los Angeles derby after another win over Chivas USA on Saturday night.
Chivas had come into the game having won three of its last four but was unable to continue the streak against the Galaxy. A robust effort by the Goats was ultimately undone by an inability to maintain possession and create chances against the Galaxy for the full 90 minutes. Chivas was also unable to convert on any of its eight corner kicks, and as a result its winless streak against the Galaxy stretched to nine games.
Chivas came out of the gates fast, winning a corner kick just 20 seconds into the game. The Galaxy cleared, but three minutes later Nick LaBrocca found space in front of the Galaxy backline and took advantage with a darting run into the box, but his shot was not hard enough. The high line employed by the Goats flustered the Galaxy in the first 15 minutes, with Beckham and Juninho making uncharacteristic turnovers.
The Galaxy responded with a succession of chances. A low cross by Landon Donovan nearly found Juan Pablo Angel in the 14th. Beckham’s swerving free kick a minute later found Gonzalez for a header in the box, but it went well over the bar. Barrett fed Angel in the 19th minute, but the Colombian striker’s angled shot was saved by Chivas ‘keeper Dan Kennedy.
Chivas seized the momentum back in the 22nd when Zarek Valentin’s cross found Alejandro Moreno in the penalty box. Moreno dribbled to the end line and cut a low shot to the back post, forcing a nice save from Galaxy ‘keeper Donovan Ricketts.
In the 26th, Beckham lined up over a free kick about 10 yards from the left edge of the penalty box. His in-swinging cross found Barrett all alone at Kennedy’s near post, and Barrett’s angled header flew into the top right corner for a 1-0 Galaxy lead.
The goal buoyed the Galaxy and unsettled Chivas, as the visitors closed out the half controlling the run of play. Just before halftime, Barrett lofted a deft chip to Angel at the top of the box. Angel brought the ball down on his chest, but his toe poke toward goal was blocked by Kennedy.
A through ball from Angel unlocked the Chivas defense just four minutes into the second half to find Barrett all alone bearing down on Kennedy’s goal. But as Kennedy charged out to cut down Barrett’s angle, the Galaxy striker dribbled wide and shot into the side netting on a golden chance.
Chivas responded by controlling the run of play for the next 10 minutes. A speculative cross by Chivas from the left wing found Nick LaBrocca in the Galaxy penalty box, but his header drifted wide of goal. A minute later, Galaxy defenders had to be alert to clear a Chivas corner, but Ricketts’s clearance to Donovan almost resulted in a goal on the other end. Donovan found Juninho on the break, and the Brazilian’s powerful drive from distance skittered just wide of the Chivas goal.
Chivas had its best chance of the game in the 65th minute. After Moreno and Franklin battled for a header in the Galaxy penalty box, the ball popped out to the edge of the area for Ben Zemanski. Zemanski’s driving shot beat Ricketts but not the left post, as it deflected out for a goal kick.
Chivas continued pressing for an equalizer. In the 82nd minute, a Chivas corner kick fell to Zemanski, who attempted an ambitious bicycle kick towards goal. The resulting scramble saw the ball take several deflections at the Galaxy goal line, before being cleared away.
But the chanting fans and mariachi trumpets were quieted by the final whistle as the game ended 1-0.
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