CARSON, Calif.--Chivas USA edged a 2-0 win over the visiting New England Revolution in an early match Sunday.
Both sides were missing players due to suspension. Chivas USA striker Maykel Galindo and Revs midfielder Shalrie Joseph were both ejected last time their respective clubs played, and so sat out the match. In the second half, Edgaras Jankauskas and Carey Talley were sent off in a double ejection.
Chivas coped much better with the losses, riding goals from Maicon Santos and Sacha Kljestan to a victory.
Chivas USA announced its intentions early. Within the first minute the hosts had forced a double save out of Matt Reis. Sacha Kljestan played a slicing ball through to put Justin Braun in alone. Reis raced off his line to smother the shot. When the rebound fell to Jesus Padilla, Reis jumped up to take the shot in his torso.
Carey Talley, wearing the captain's armband for the night, relished his return to rightback and created a series of chances. In the seventh minute, he collected a passback from Padilla and slotted a ball through to Paulo Nagamura. The Brazilian hit a hard cross that deflected off Emmanuel Osei and onto the upright before pinging out.
Three minutes later, when Chivas took the lead, Talley again started the move. He sprayed a pass down the right flank to Justin Braun, who turned and smacked a low cross. Maicon Santos peeled away from his marker for a simple tap-in. The goal marked Santos' first in Major League Soccer and Braun's first career assist.
Two minutes later, a cross from Talley found the unmarked head of Kljestan, but the U.S. international struck his attempt off the upright.
Chivas continued its dominance with Nagamura and Kljestan both missing open shots in the box towards the middle of the half.
Kljestan was having a lot of joy cutting in from his left flank and running at defenders. In the 34th minute he did just that before slicing the ball back for the overlapping Jorge Flores. The youngster's whipped cross was pushed out of the box by the leg of Osei.
Heading towards the end of the half, the game lost any momentum it had thanks to a series of injuries. Yamith Cuesta, Edgaras Jankauskas, and Darrius Barnes all spent a series of minutes on the pitch.
The half came to a close with Chivas one goal to the good, and with the Revolution having yet to record a single shot.
Justin Braun was out to prove he deserved a continued starting role. Just over five minutes into the half he had two chances. First, he wrestled the ball away from Osei and turned sharply at the top of the box. Reis dove to parry his shot. A minute later, Braun rose to meet a Talley cross, snapping his header inches wide of the upright.
New England heeded the warning and started to assert itself. More possession followed for the visitors.
Close to the hour mark, Zach Thornton was tested. A long throw by Darrius Barnes deceived the 36 year old 'keeper, leaving him stranded as the throw sailed over his head towards goal. Talley nipped in at the last moment to head out from under the crossbeam.
With half an hour left in the game, Sainey Nyassi tried his luck from distance twice. Both sailed wide. On the second effort, however, there was some jostling in the box. Jankauskas and Talley got a bit too rough and ended up shoving each other off the ball. Referee Ricardo Salazar didn't hesitate, issuing both players red cards.
That took a lot of the sting out of the game, as each club made substitutions to deal with their respective absences and adjust tactically.
The Revolution had a chance from a Steve Ralston knockdown a couple minutes later. Wells Thompson seemed to have the upper hand getting to it, but eventually Michael Lahoud emerged with the ball. Thompson tackled him from behind in the box, picking up a yellow.
From that point on Chivas seemed content to counter. A good chance with less than 10 minutes to go was started by substitute Eduardo Lillingston. The Mexican striker held up the ball on the halfway line and played Kljestan into space. After running much of the pitch, Klestan laid it off to Nagamura, who cut inside and shot. Reis was on hand once again to save.
Deep into extra time, two of those players linked up again. Kljestan exploited the space at the back to find Lillingston in the box. The striker hit a tame shot past the on-rushing Reis, but went down after having been clipped by the 'keeper's outstretched hand. The referee pointed to the spot despite Revolution protestations.
Kljestan coolly sent Reis the wrong way to secure the win.
Zac Lee Rigg, Goal.com
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