Ante Razov scored a goal in the first half as Chivas USA tied the LA Galaxy on Thursday in the second of three scheduled SuperClasico meetings this season.
Razov scored in the 15th minute and Chivas USA had other scoring chances but could not punctuate the match with another goal. Edson Buddle scored the equalizer in the 72nd minute.
Chivas USA fielded a new central defense pair as coach Preki rested Claudio Suarez ahead of Sunday's SuperLiga opener against Pachuca. Shavar Thomas took Suarez's spot alongside Bobby Burling in central defense.
Chivas USA applied some early pressure on the Galaxy. In the first minute, Chivas USA earned a set piece on the edge of the penalty area but Razov's attempt hit the Galaxy wall. Moments later, Peter Vagenas turned the ball over deep in the Galaxy third and Chivas USA pounced on the ball but Sacha Kljestan could not control the final touch inside the penalty area.
Kljestan and Razov connected for the game's first goal. Kljestan dribbled through the Galaxy's defense and ran toward the left corner of the area. Kljestan slipped a ball inside to Razov, who stroked a left-footed shot on goal first-time from 22 yards out. The ball curled around Galaxy goalkeeper Steve Cronin and into the back of the net.
For Razov, the goal was his sixth all-time against the Galaxy since joining Chivas USA in 2006. Also, it marked the third consecutive match that Razov has found the back of the net.
Brad Guzan kept the Galaxy off the scoreboard in the 24th minute as Ely Allen made a run through Chivas USA's defense and placed a shot on goal from 15 yards out. Guzan, though, had come off his line and was in position to turn the shot away.
Razov nearly scored his second goal of the match in the 27th minute when he ripped a 25-yard free kick on goal but Cronin was in position to stop the shot and plucked it from mid-air.
The Galaxy got back into the match late in the first half as the club made a late surge. Chris Klein banged a shot off the right post in the 45th minute but aside from that the Galaxy did little to threaten Guzan.
Each side finished the first half with identical shot statistics -- six total attempts with three on goal. The Galaxy, meanwhile, had two players pick up yellow cards -- Pete Vagenas in the sixth minute and Ante Jazic in the 26th minute. However, Jazic left the match moments after his booking when he fell awkwardly to the ground. Jazic he lost a challenge to Harris and was taken to the locker room in a stretcher.
Chivas USA did well to match the Galaxy's early second-half energy. The Galaxy's energy was short-lived, though, as the Red-and-White controlled possession in the early going.
Preki went to the bench for the first time in the 59th minute when he replaced Harris with rookie Justin Braun. Harris was active during his time and won several challenges against the Galaxy's left sided players. Braun settled into a forward spot alongside Razov.
It was Buddle who finally broke through for the Galaxy. Beckham slid the ball inside to Peter Vagenas, who slotted a perfect through ball into the Chivas penalty area. Buddle ran onto it and slammed a shot between Guzan's legs from the right of the goal. After the goal, Preki was given a red card for verbally abusing the officials. Moments later, Chivas USA appeared to have taken the lead. Kljestan ran along the end line and hooked the ball back to the front of the goal, where Francisco Mendoza knocked it into an empty net. However, Kljestan took the ball over the end line, the assistant referee ruled.
Both teams had chances to steal a late winner. Jonathan Bornstein ventured forward and sent a cross into the area. Cronin got caught coming off his line, allowing Kljestan to get a header past him, only to see it rattle off the post.
Then on a counter attack in stoppage time, Landon Donovan fed Carlos Ruiz. From an angle, Ruiz shot on goal, but Guzan was equal to the task and made the save.
Luis Bueno is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.