CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy held off in-stadium rivals Chivas USA for a 2-1 victory in a chippy Honda SuperClásico match on Sunday evening at The Home Depot Center. The win puts the Galaxy back in the driver's seat for the 2010 MLS Supporters’ Shield with just three games left to play in the regular season.
First half goals from Edson Buddle and David Beckham were enough to overcome a second-half strike from Alan Gordon as LA took home their third consecutive SuperClásico trophy.
Chivas USA's loss -- their third in as many games -- effectively eliminated Martín Vásquez’s men from playoff contention for the 2010 season. The Goats will not see postseason action for the first time since 2005.
Sunday’s game was largely a tale of two halves, with the first belonging solely to LA. The Galaxy charged out of the gate early and nearly pulled ahead in the fourth minute, but Buddle was unable to put away a low cross from Chris Birchall.
In the eighth minute, Chivas USA gave LA a little scare when Giancarlo Maldonado received a pass at the top of the box and, after cutting back to put the ball on his left, let loose a shot that rang Donovan Rickett's left upright.
The Galaxy responded immediately. David Beckham sent a nice through ball to Buddle, who, in a one-on-one against Zach Thornton, chose to chip the 'keeper only to have his shot crash against the crossbar.
After weathering some chippy defending from Red-and-White central midfielders Paulo Nagamura and Ben Zemanski, the Galaxy -- and Buddle -- finally broke through in the 24th minute.
Buddle tallied his 15th goal of the season after collecting a long pass from Michael Stephens and blasting a one-touch shot into the bottom left corner of the net to put the Galaxy up 1-0.
LA doubled their lead just before the break, this time relying on a gorgeous free kick from Beckham for the tally. The kick was awarded after Carlos Borja got tangled up with Buddle just outside the box. Beckham would make no mistake, curling his shot over a nine-man wall for the 2-0 lead.
Chivas USA emerged from the locker room for the second 45 with renewed commitment. The halftime substitutions of Rodolfo Espinoza and Jorge Flores added pace and energy in the attack, and pushing Justin Braun from the right wing to the forward spot gave the Red-and-White something to aim for.
Just seconds after starting up, Gordon tried to punish his former team with a header from close, but Ricketts reacted in time to push it over the bar. However, Gordon would not go away quietly.
In the 64th minute, Jonathan Bornstein sent a driven cross into the LA penalty area that found a leaping Gordon. The forwarded, which replays showed was offside, headed the ball straight at Ricketts. The goalie mishandled the effort and, on a second attempt at saving his goal, punched it across the line for a 2-1 scoreline.
Things got interesting in the 77th minute, when LA’s Eddie Lewis was given a straight red card for stomping on Rodolfo Espinoza. Chivas USA pushed all their men forward for the final 13 minutes of play, but were unable to find an equalizer.
With the victory, the Galaxy extended their unbeaten streak against the Goats to six.
Chivas USA will now turn their attentions to Toronto FC, who visit The Home Depot Center next weekend. LA will travel Philadelphia on the Oct. 7 as they look to clinch the 2010 MLS Supporters’ Shield.
LA -- Edson Buddle 15 (Michael Stephens 8) 23
LA -- David Beckham 1 (unassisted) 39
CHV -- Alan Gordon 1 (Jonathan Bornstein 2) 63
CHV -- Carlos Borja (caution; Tactical Foul) 38
CHV -- Rodolfo Espinoza (caution; Reckless Foul) 76
LA -- Eddie Lewis (ejection; Violent Conduct) 76
LA -- Michael Stephens (caution; Delaying a Restart) 89
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts, Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, David Beckham (Eddie Lewis 64), Chris Birchall (Alex Cazumba 85), Juninho, Michael Stephens, Edson Buddle (Tristan Bowen 89), Landon Donovan.
Substitutes Not Used: Jovan Kirovski, Mike Magee, Yohance Marshall, Josh Saunders.
Chivas USA -- Zach Thornton, Mariano Trujillo, Carlos Borja (Sal Zizzo 77), Ante Jazic, Jonathan Bornstein, Michael Lahoud, Paulo Nagamura, Ben Zemanski (Rodolfo Espinoza 46), Justin Braun, Giancarlo Maldonado (Jorge Flores 46), Alan Gordon.
Substitutes Not Used: Yamith Cuesta, Jesus Padilla, Marcelo Saragosa, Kevin Guppy.
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee's Assistants: Anthony Vasoli; Eric Boria
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
Weather: Clear and 73 degrees