both within minutes of the start of each half -- with the sublimest of touches. He opened the Columbus account in the eighth minute when he met a Manny Lagos with a glancing header while completely alone in the area, then after the break, was allowed to stroll onto the end of a curling Razov freekick from the flank and touch it home from inside the goal area (47).
Razov then finished off the night when a cross intended for Buddle was cleared by a Galaxy defender -- but only as far as Razov, who calmly finished (54). The Galaxy's new signing, Landon Donovan, was unable to play after suffering from flu-like symptoms.
Here's Greg Andrulis's team (3-4-1-2): Jon Busch - Mark Schulte, Robin Fraser (Ryan Kelly 87), Chad Marshall - Danny Szetela, Simon Elliott, Manny Lagos, David Testo (Domenic Mediate 77) - Kyle Martino - Edson Buddle, Ante Razov (Knox Cameron 88)
Here's Steve Sampson's team (4-4-2): Kevin Hartman - Chris Albright, Tyrone Marshall, Michael Umaña (Pablo Chinchilla 59), Todd Dunivant - Cobi Jones (Joseph Ngwenya 67), Paulo Nagamura, Peter Vagenas, Paul Broome (Mubarike Chisoni 46) - Jovan Kirovski, Guillermo Ramirez
A year ago, each team won once in their three encounters, the third meeting a draw. The Galaxy claimed a 2-0 victory on April 24 at The Home Depot Center as Carlos Ruiz hit for both goals (58, 82), then the teams played to a scoreless draw on Aug. 14 on Victoria Street in Sigi Schmid's last match in charge.
The Crew claimed a 3-1 victory in the only match at the Ohio State Fairgrounds, as Ross Paule hit for his first career hat trick (26, 43, 68 pen) with Joseph Ngwenya hitting for the Galaxy (47+).
Before the Crew's victory in the final meeting a year ago, they hadn't won in five meetings. The teams played to a 1-1 draw in Columbus on First Kick 2003 before three consecutive Galaxy victories, then another draw.
The visiting team last won in the series four years ago, when Columbus won 2-0 at the Rose Bowl in the final of the two 2001 meetings (July 4). That's the only away victory in the series over the last four seasons.
The Galaxy haven't won in Columbus since the 1998 season, and have never won in Crew Stadium. Over the six matches played in Columbus in that stretch, the teams have played to draws in three (with a fourth decided by a post-match shootout).
Coaches record: Greg Andrulis vs. LA: P10 W3 L4 D3 ... Steve Sampson v CLB: P1 W0 L1 T0
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
The California Clasico got off to a quiet start until Jovan Kirovski hit home with a long-range shot that took a deflection or two on its way to goal (39).
But just after the hour, rookie Galaxy center back Ugo Ihemelu was sent off for a second yellow card, and it took the Earthquakes just six minutes to equalize, new acquisition Mark Chung curling in a perfectly-placed cross from the right where Ronald Cerritos came in at the near post to jab home.
Yet the Galaxy came back to claim the full three points, substitute Naldo da Conceicao freed on the left before looping a cross back to the spot where Peter Vagenas steamed in to drive a thumping header and keep the Galaxy perfect on their home ground.
Galaxy coach Steve Sampson ran out the same team for the sixth consecutive match. Here's his team (4-4-2): Kevin Hartman - Chris Albright, Ugo Ihemelu, Tyrone Marshall, Todd Dunivant - Cobi Jones (Pablo Chinchilla 80), Paulo Nagamura, Peter Vagenas, Guillermo Ramirez (Naldo da Conceicao 77) - Jovan Kirovski (Michael Umana 66), Landon Donovan
"I thought we played well in the first half, created a number of opportunities once again. We were able to go into the locker room up a goal. Of course, the discussion at halftime was managing the first 10-15 minutes of the second half, so that we don't give up a silly goal like we did against Real," Sampson said. " ... We managed (the second half) pretty well until we got the red card for Ugo. Obviously, that changed things a bit. I thought our guys did as tactically as well as we possibly could under those conditions."
The Los Angeles Galaxy returned home and returned to their winning ways, overcoming a player sent off to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 at The Home Depot Center on Saturday night. The Galaxy remained perfect at home with five wins from five matches but stayed in second place in the Western Conference with 15 points from seven matches, three behind FC Dallas.
For Vagenas, it was his third goal of the season - already tying a career single-season high just a quarter into the season. But more people were remembering his miss in the first half against Real Salt Lake the weekend before. "It was vindication for sure," said Donovan. "If there is any scenario to score a goal in, that was the one, because I'm sure he felt bad after last week."
Sampson is assured of having to make a change to his team this week after Ihemelu was sent off. "Again, we let a team back into the game, and to make matters worse a young player who has been great for us all year playing with a yellow card goes in for a silly challenge and the referee had no choice but to red card him," Vagenas said.
Michael Umaña, who started in the season opener against Columbus but hasn't been back in the starting lineup, came into central defense as Sampson had to reconfigure his team. But Umaña will be on international duty this week, joining Costa Rica for their friendly against Norway in Oslo in advance of the World Cup qualifiers on June 4.
It was a night for the Crew defenders as the home side put an end to their losing streak and recent defensive woes all in one night.
Both goals came from set pieces as the Crew suffocated the Real attack. In the 14th minute, center back Chad Marshall was desperately unlucky not to score his first MLS goal, powering a header off a free kick that Real 'keeper D.J. Countess could only palm off the underside of the bar. The ball came back down on the fallen 'keeper and Hejduk slipped in to poke it the final couple of inches.
Hejduk had no doubt when he hit for his second in the 37th minute, Simon Elliott whipping in a cross from the left on a well-worked short corner to find the U.S. international unmarked in the center of the area, and he sent his header just inside the right-hand post. The Crew survived after being left a man down for the final 13 minutes when Cornell Glen was sent off with a straight red card.
"I thought we saw a team out there tonight fighting hard for 90 minutes, and collectively the first half was terrific. They got after it. We were winning the second balls; it was just a good fight," Crew boss Greg Andrulis said. "... The second goal was very important for us. I thought the guys managed the game very well. We didn't get too many breaks in the second half. The guys withstood the pressure and got the job done."
Andrulis made one change to the team that lost 4-0 to the Kansas City Wizards, going with a 4-4-2 to start for the second week in a row but with a different tactical look. Chris Wingert came into the team for Dominic Mediate as he went with a central midfield axis, Kyle Martino pushed out wide to the left.
Here's Andrulis's team (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Frankie Hejduk, Robin Fraser, Chad Marshall, Stephen Herdsman (Domenic Mediate 46) - Mario Rodriguez, Simon Elliott, Chris Wingert, Kyle Martino (Ryan Kelly 79) - Edson Buddle (Knox Cameron 74), Cornell Glen
"It worked tonight, you know, clearly something to build on. It's good to finally have some guys back and healthy, so we can have some options. Again, I thought in the first half it was really, really good. We need to do a little bit better job of linking in with the forwards, but again it was a different system with different players for so many games in a row, but it's a good step in the right direction, it's something to build on."
The Columbus Crew put an end to their four-match losing run, getting a pair of first-half goals on their way to a 2-0 victory against Real Salt Lake on Saturday night at Crew Stadium. The Crew pulled into a three-way tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with nine points from eight matches, level with MetroStars and Kansas City Wizards 11 points behind the league-leading New England Revolution.
For Hejduk, it was his first two-goal game since playing for the Tampa Bay Mutiny against Dallas on April 11, 1998. "(O)bviously with Frankie's contribution, when you need big players to step up, Frankie stepped up for us tonight. His heart was contagious, his work rate, his effort, he was not to be stopped following up that shot from Chad (Marshall)," Andrulis said.
Forward Ante Razov, who is seeking a trade after only five months with the club, was not on the 20-man game roster against Real although he was on the bench. Andrulis would not discuss the move afterward.