Galaxy Beat Chivas USA To Win SuperClasico

October 17, 2011

Carson, CA -- In the second and final meeting of the 2011 SuperClasico, the Galaxy came into the match having already won the first game 1-0 behind a Chad Barrett goal back in May.  The Galaxy would also come into the match without Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, Sean Franklin, or Donovan Ricketts, providing LA all the reason to take it easy after winning the MLS Supporters’ Shield for 2011.

However, with David Beckham and captain Gregg Berhalter leading the team against Chivas USA, the Galaxy immediately started off looking for another victory and trophy.

In the 1st minute of play, Chad Barrett received a touch pass from Adam Cristman, and Barrett was suddenly on a breakaway against Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.  Barrett might have had an available pass back to Cristman on the right hand side, but Cristman was not quite up to speed with Barrett, so he dribbled around Kennedy and took a shot on goal that the Chivas defense was barely able to save.

The Galaxy continued to attack with a Cristman cross to the feet of Mike Magee at the 6-yard box that was snuffed out by Chivas, and a Beckham leading ball to Barrett that Kennedy got to first.

In the 11th minute, Chivas got some offense going as Alejandro Moreno crossed the ball into the box, settling to the feet of Michael Lahoud.  Lahoud made a strong shot toward goal, but Josh Saunders did not have to make a save as the shot went just wide.

Chad Barrett’s unlucky first half would continue for himself and the Galaxy in the 18th minute when Todd Dunivant made a quality, long out-of-bounds throw-in that found Barrett.  Barrett, with a Chivas defender on his back, controlled the ball and then attempted a bicycle kick.  Barrett’s shot would have scored in the side of goal, but a leaping Kennedy saved the shot.

Although overmatched, Chivas continued to fight against the Galaxy, as Chivas earned a corner in the 24th minute.  The corner kick found the head of Andrew Boyens whose header just missed wide of goal.

The difficult first half for Barrett would carry on as his header from a Dunivant cross in the 39th minute beat Kennedy, but hit the post.

Following a quality individual attack by Chivas’ Ben Zemanski that resulted in his shot going wide of goal, the Galaxy earned a free-kick.  Beckham delivered the free-kick and Barrett headed the ball, but the header missed as the first half ended.

Chivas started off the second half well, as their offensive production picked up.  In the 49th minute, Nick LaBrocca found himself with the ball alone in the 18-yard box and fired on goal, however Saunders was able to get his hands up in time to deflect the shot.  Chivas earned a couple corners from the possession, but there were no threats on goal.

In the 53rd minute, Barrett and the Galaxy finally got rewarded for their play when Cristman crossed a great ball into Barrett in the 6-yard box that Barrett definitively headed into goal past Kennedy to give the Galaxy the 1-0 lead.

In the 59th minute, Juninho gave the fans another reason to enjoy the game as he took a near mid-field shot on goal when he saw that Kennedy was off his line, but the shot went high.

Juan Pablo Angel, traded to Chivas from the Galaxy following a stint with LA in early 2011, had been playing very well for Chivas, but the Galaxy defense stifled him in this game, and in the 61st minute he earned a yellow card for a foul against Beckham.

The Galaxy looked to finish off the game with another score when Mike Magee took a shot on goal in the 69th minute and Beckham crossed the ball into Cristman in the 71st minute, but neither effort produced a second goal.

However, the Galaxy relied on their defense to finish and win the game, which was no more apparent than in the 87th minute when Todd Dunivant saved the day with a brilliant defense recovery effort against Juan Pablo Angel, who was about to have a shot on goal from 2 yards away.

With the win, the Galaxy inched closer to a possible MLS single season record of 70 points earned in the league table, and remained undefeated at home during the 2011 MLS season.  The MLS record is 68 points set by the 1998 Galaxy team.  LA will have the chance to set the record on Sunday when they travel to Houston for their final regular season game before the MLS Playoffs begin.

By Brian Kowalski
Staff Reporter for The Daily Sports Herald

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