David Beckham's goal is the winning one.Goals from Edson Buddle and David Beckham in the first half gave the Los Angeles Galaxy the Super Clasico title, though Alan Gordon's goal against his former team made for an interesting second half. Eddie Lewis was controversially sent off late in the second half, forcing Los Angeles even further on the back foot for the last 15 minutes. With the result, Chivas USA has been officially eliminated from playoff contention.
The game kicked off at a frenetic pace, with both sides struggling to settle down. The Galaxy eventually did so and started to control possession, but Edson Buddle then spurned two good chances to open up the scoring. He shot wide on one attempt and took too long to shoot on another.
Chivas USA started to come back into the game after the first ten minutes of play and nearly took advantage of some sloppy defending from Los Angeles. Michael Lahoud found Giancarlo Maldonado, who cut inside and fired at goal, only to see his effort strike the post and go out for a goal kick.
After the chance for Maldonado and a few other moments of uncertainty, the Galaxy defense started to tighten up and the effects were felt throughout the rest of the Galaxy's lineup. After a good spell of possession, Michael Stephens played a sweeping cross-field ball from midfield to find Edson Buddle. This time, the league's top scorer made no mistake, firing it inside the post on the half-volley to put Los Angeles up by one.
The goal provided the Galaxy more confidence and they continued to trouble Chivas USA all over the field. The strong interplay between David Beckham and Juninho allowed Los Angeles to dominate possession while Chris Birchall and Landon Donovan gave the Chivas full-backs plenty to think about on the flanks.
With Los Angeles controlling the run of play, a second goal was inevitable and David Beckham got a golden chance to double the lead when Carlos Borja held back Buddle on the edge of the box in the 39th minute, earning a yellow card in the process. Beckham made no mistake, curling a trademark powerful free kick over the wall and easily past Zach Thornton for his first MLS goal this season.
Chivas nearly responded within a minute as Justin Braun's cross from deep found Alan Gordon, but the former Galaxy man's header was to week and fell easily to Donovan Rickets, ensuring LA would go into the dressing room with a 2-0 lead.
It was all Chivas USA as the second half kicked off, a theme that would persist through out final 45 minutes. Alan Gordon nearly pulled one back within 30 seconds of the opening whistle, as Donovan Ricketts did very well to tip the ball over the crossbar after Gordon's header.
Chivas USA continued to apply the pressure, with the entrances of Jorge Flores and Rodolfo Espinoza giving their wing play an added dimension. Paulo Nagamura and Michael Lahoud also stepped up in the midfield for Chivas and provided the team with some of the creativity and distribution that had been lacking in the first half.
Chivas USA's dominance paid off in the 63rd minute when the left side was exposed once again, allowing Bornstein to burst through and swing in a cross, which Alan Gordon connected with. Ricketts got a hand on it, but it wasn't enough to keep it out of the net as Chivas USA halved the deficit.
As with many derby matches, there was an element of controversy, as although the goal was given, television replays showed Gordon was clearly offside when the ball was played.
With Chivas looking menacing, Los Angeles tried to put the game out of reach as Todd Dunivant cut behind Mariano Trujillo in the 72nd minute and fired in a low shot, only for Thornton to tip it around the post. Two minutes later, Donovan was in the box with a clear shot, but instead decided to cut in and lay the ball off for Juninho, who fired over.
The most controversial moment of the game came on 76 minutes when Eddie Lewis, who had entered the game for Beckham after the goal, was shown a red card for an apparent stomp on Espinoza after the Chivas player came through with a reckless challenge.
The expulsion brought both teams off the bench, with Beckham and Bruce Arena both furiously arguing that Lewis could have done nothing to avoid landing on Espinoza. After two minutes of arguing, Jair Maruffo and his officiating crew managed to get a handle on things, and Espinoza was shown a yellow card for the initial tackle.
Withthe Galaxy looking gassed and down to ten men, Chivas USA pressed hard for the equalizer as the clock wound down. However, AJ DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez held firm on LA's back line, ensuring that Chivas wouldn't be able to muster any clear chances for the remainder of the match, delivering the SuperClasico trophy to the Galaxy for the fourth time.
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Nick Rosano is a NorCal-based contributor for Goal.com. Follow him on Twitter @nicholasrosano for more MLS insight and the occasional moment of hilarity.