CARSON, Calif. – Gyasi Zardes scored his second goal of the season to propel the LA Galaxy to a 1-0 victory against rival Chivas USA in this year’s second edition of the SuperClasico on Sunday night at the StubHub Center.
The night’s lone goal arrived in the 44th minute when Landon Donovan delivered a free kick into the box and Zardes finished off the set piece with a perfectly-placed header that glanced off the post and into the back of the net.
Zardes, in fact, had a bevy of opportunities throughout. He sailed a left-footed shot over the crossbar in the 25th minute, hit the post some 10 minutes later and headed a ball just wide of the goal shortly after halftime. Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy denied Zardes again in the 74th minute with a brilliant save.
The Galaxy (7-6-3), coming off a scoreless draw against the Portland Timbers earlier in the week, snapped their three-game winless streak, while Chivas USA (3-10-2) continued their slump. With their seventh consecutive defeat, the Goats equaled a club record set at the end of last season. They have beaten the Galaxy only four times in 27 all-time matches.
Sunday marked the first home match for Chivas USA head coach José Luis “Güero” Real, who dropped his MLS coaching debut earlier in the week at Vancouver.
It could have been worse for the Goats. Besides Zardes' numerous chances, Robbie Rogers had a goal waved off in the 34th minute when it was ruled that Robbie Keane obstructed Kennedy while in an offside position. The Galaxy had 16 attempts on goal to Chivas USA’s 6 and held a 62-38 possession advantage.
The Goats, who have not won an MLS match since March 30, nearly tied the match in the 70th minute when Jorge Villafaña made a run down the left side and unleashed a shot that grazed the crossbar. They nearly scored in the 29th minute when Jose Manuel Rivera volleyed a deflected pass toward the net, but Carlo Cudicini turned the shot away with a diving stop.
The cross-hall rivals, who played to a 1-1 draw in their previous matchup on March 17, are scheduled to meet for the third and final time in league play on Oct. 6.
The Galaxy will travel to San Jose for a California Clasico showdown against the Earthquakes next Saturday, while Chivas USA will host former striker Juan Agudelo and the New England Revolution.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Landon Donovan||Looked sharp, especially in the first half, where he created two great chances with two great crosses. Both resulted in goals, though one was ruled offside|
|2||Gyasi Zardes||Finishing left something to be desired on the whole, but he did well to put away a tricky header, got into good positions and showed bundles of skill|
|3||Tristan Bowen||Chivas' most enterprising player on the night. Often found himself on an island, but tried to make things happen in attack, had some good touches, and tracked back well|