Lucky seven? Chivas top Galaxy
CARSON, Calif. - It took seven tries but Chivas USA finally recorded a win against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Ante Razov bagged two goals and Chivas USA's defense stifled the Galaxy's attack en route to a 2-1 win at The Home Depot Center on the eve of the World Cup opener.
Razov scored in the 15th and 21st minutes and although Herculez Gomez pulled a goal back in the 27th minute, the Red-and-White stood firm and claimed its first-ever Super Clasico win.
Five minutes in, Razov came dangerously close to scoring. Juan Pablo Garcia bent a free kick inside the penalty area. Razov raced onto the ball and got his foot on the ball but could not direct the ball on goal.
Razov opened the scoring with a magnificent strike of World Cup proportions. Francisco Mendoza sailed a cross from the left flank to the front of the goal. Razov slammed the ball from mid-air into the back of the net, a straight laser beam that Galaxy 'keeper Kevin Hartman had zero chance of stopping.
Razov made it a two-goal lead in the 21st minute when he finished a brilliant counterattack. Palencia carried the ball downfield and sent a well-placed through ball to Sacha Kljestan. From the top of the penalty area, the rookie midfielder flicked a pass to the opposite side of the area with the outside of his right foot. Razov curled a rolling ball that nestled into the left corner of the net.
Herculez Gomez put the Galaxy on the board with a soft goal in the 27th minute. The Galaxy had a free kick to the left of the penalty area. Paulo Nagamura and Todd Dunivant fumbled with the ball and Gomez eventually wound up with it. From 25 yards out, he ran across the field and sent a slow-rolling ball on goal that Chivas 'keeper Preston Burpo just missed.
The match opened up afterward as the Galaxy, who had been pinned back on their heels, pushed forward in search of an equalizer that ultimately never came.
The so-called "home side" on the night, the Galaxy poured forward in the second half as Chivas were pinned in. Yet the second half started with a near fatal mistake by Galaxy center back Ugo Ihemelu. He tried to play a pass back to Hartman, and could only watch as Razov intercepted the pass. Razov touched the ball past Hartman, but was too strong with his touch, as the ball rolled over the end line for a goal kick.
Only a fingertip kept the Galaxy from leveling the score in the 55th minute. Josh Gardner picked up a loose ball from 25 yards out and fired towards the back post, but Burpo made an impressive diving save to steer the ball around his goalpost.
Four minutes later the Galaxy frontrunners nearly hooked up. Wolyniec fed Gomez, who split two defenders with his run. From a sharp angle Gomez fired on target, forcing Burpo to make a kick save with his right foot to prevent the equalizer.
Then in the 78th minute second-half substitute Alan Gordon got on the end of a Dunivant cross, but his effort was well over the bar.
Earlier this season, Razov also scored to open a game against the Galaxy but the Red-and-White's defense faltered late in the match as the Galaxy got two late goals from Cornell Glen to win 2-1. Even in Frank Yallop's first night in charge of the Galaxy, increasingly it looked as if Chivas would again fail to come away with a victory against their rivals, but this time they held on.
Luis Bueno is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.