Carson City, California- The StubHub! Center, October 6, 2013 (Photos: Samuel Coronado)
This Sunday, LA Galaxy and Chivas USA were going to play the final installment of the SuperClassico this season. They tied the first game one-one and the Galaxy was able to win the second game in the slightest of margins, one-nil. Many things had happen since their last game. Chivas USA was now officially eliminated from the playoffs. Galaxy was still in the playoffs but at the start of the game was in fifth place. It was a must-win game for both teams but for different reason. Chivas USA needed this win to salvage another season of disappointment. They knew that if they could beat their hometown rivals, it would be a big boost from this young team next season. Galaxy needed to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. At the beginning of the game, they were just one point ahead of the sixth place San Jose Earthquake and San Jose had been playing well recently. The Galaxy had to win the remaining games to make sure they made it into the playoffs.
The Galaxy almost scored the first goal of the game from the get-go. Gyasi Zardes had the ball on the left flank. He ran towards the touch line and right before he crossed the line he crossed the ball towards the middle of the box. Robbie Keane was running down the middle of the box and he slid to try to put the ball into the net but he touch was off course and the ball missed wide right. Then in the 5th minute of the game, Galaxy was able to open up the scoreboard. Gyasi had the ball on the left flank again as he was getting closer to the box. He crossed the ball to the other side of the box were Landon Donovan was at. He brought down the ball but Dan Kennedy came out to meet him and close down any shooting angel that Donovan had. Instead of shooting, Donovan passed the ball back towards the middle of the box where all Keane had to do was shoot the ball towards goal. This goal gave the Galaxy a one-nil lead.
The Galaxy was able to increase their lead in the 23rd minute of the game. Just like their previous two dangerous opportunities the play happened on the left flank. Zardes had the ball on the flank and did the same thing; he cut and ran towards the touch line. He then crossed the ball low and to the far post right where Donovan was making his run. All Donovan had to do was guide the ball towards the back of the net with his foot and he did that expertly. This goal gave the Galaxy a commanding two-nil lead.
Galaxy extended their lead even more in the 26th minute of the game. Zardes had the ball on the left flank again. He cut in towards the top of the box and passed the ball to a wide open Keane. Keane received the ball and tried shooting at goal but a Chivas USA defender was able to get in front of the shot and block the ball. The rebound landed on Zardes’ feet, he turned, and shot towards goal. He was able to beat Kennedy and score the third goal for Galaxy. The Galaxy now led three-nil.
The Galaxy was not done when it came to scoring in the first half. Donovan had the ball on his side of the pitch. He passed the ball to Keane who was in the middle of the field. Keane one-timed it to Pablo Mastroeni. He stopped the ball with his chest and volleyed the pass to a running Donovan towards goal. Donovan beat his defender and smartly chipped it over Kennedy to score his second goal of the game. With that goal, Donovan was able to match Jeff Cunningham’s all time record for goals scored in the MLS with 134 goals.
The second half didn’t have as much fire power as the first half. It would be very difficult for the Galaxy to match what they did in the first half. The Galaxy weren’t as dangerous in the second half but they weren’t attacking with the same aggressive mindset like they did in the first half. They were able to score another goal. This goal came in the 90th minute of the game. Laurent Courtois had the ball. He saw that Keane was making his run towards the box. Courtois passed the ball to Keane and Keane controlled the ball with his chest. He took a few steps, turned and shot on goal. He was able to score Galaxy’s fifth goal of the game and his second. The referee whistled for the end of the game one minute later and the Galaxy were able to win easily.
Galaxy stays home to play Montreal Impact on October 16.
Chivas USA travel to Utah to play Real Salt Lake.