The Galaxy won the second match of the season between the inter-city rivals.On a night when David Beckham and Zinadine Zidane were in attendance along with over 23,000 spectators, the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA played an entertaining, if uneven, match that concluded in a close victory for the Los Angeles Galaxy for their third win in a row.
The Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA played a tight first half, contesting every ball, but the "visiting" squad in the crosstown rivalry generated the better of the chances.
The Galaxy acquisition Alecko Eskandarian, so late of Chivas USA, had the first shot in the 6th minute, but it was high.
In the 31st minute, Edson Buddle broke the deadlock with an impressive snap header off an AJ De La Garza cross. The play build between Kirovski and Mike Magee, who one-touched the ball out side to De La Garza. With acres of space around him, De La Garza took his time and hit a pass that wouldn't have shamed a more famous right-sided player. Buddle went airborne, yet hit the ball with the correct angle to give it a sharp detour. Zach Thornton dove full-length, but the ball hit the post and bounced into the goal.
Scrappy play followed, as Jonny Bornstein and De La Garza traded rough fouls on the right side of the field. Referee Ricardo Salazar gave the MLS rookie a talking-to, but no card.
Landon Donovan on a run in the 37th minute generated a sliver of space with his velocity, but his cross floated long.
Magee went wide by only a foot in the 43rd.
Dunivant shot on goal from outside in the 45th minute, but Thornton's dive reached the ball this time and he palmed it wide.
The half finished with Chivas USA not registering a single shot in the entire period.
The Galaxy continued to play strongly in the early part of the second half, but could not quite convert chances. When Thornton handled a backpass, the Galaxy had an opportunity with an indirect free kick. Berhalter sent the kick into the wall, however, and Chivas USA escaped the danger.
Chivas USA then began a good run of possession, doing a better job of probing the defense of the Galaxy.
It culminated with a corner kick opportunity in the 59th minute, which was the same time that Bobby Burling subbed in for Ante Jazic. The corner kick led to a chip shot on goal that Saunders did well to tip over the ba. The ensuing corner was cleared out by the Galaxy, but Chivas USA quicly regained possession and again ran rampant in the Galaxy's final third.
Chivas USA had improved by leaps and bound in the second half and only were missing a goal to show for it, but they were working hard to rectify that.
Eager for that finishing touch, Preki inserted Chukwudy Chijindu for Sacha Klkestan in the 68th minute, while Bruce Arena still had not made his first substitution.
In the 72nd minute, Arena called on Eddie Lewis, pulling off Eskandarian. Donovan moved up to play forward, as the Galaxy looked for a late counter opportunity.
Chivas USA was still pressing well for the equalizer, though, as the ball was deep in Galaxy territory for a corner kick in the 74th. The Galaxy managed to clear the threat.
The composure the Galaxy had maintained in the first half was utterly gone, and Chivas USA kept coming at the Galaxy goal. Perhaps looking to stem the tide of attacks, Arena inserted his sparkplug of late, veteran Chris Klein, in for Magee.
Yet even that failed to generate much control in the match, which was becoming a more wide-open affair.
A penetrating run by Chijindu in the 84th minute led to a quick layoff pass for Atiba Harris, whose low shot beat Saunders but missed wide by only inches.
Late in the game, Arena went defensive and inserted another veteran, Tony Sanneh, for Kirovski.
In the final minute of the match Donovan charged in on Nagamura, who threw his arm wide to shield the ball and caught Donovan square in the face. The Galaxy captain rolled around while the charge on the LA goal continued, but the Galaxy were finally able to clear the threat.
Chivas USA had the Galaxy goal surrounded in extra time, but after a shot by Sasha Victorine flew high, the final whistle blew and the Galaxy had secured their victory.