Galaxy defeats Chivas USA, 2-0, in Super Clasico
The Galaxy and Chivas USA share a stadium, practice fields, a parking lot and a gymnasium, which means players from both teams frequently bump into one another in the hallways of the Home Depot Center.
Most of the time, that’s not a problem.
When the players bump into one another on the field, however — well, that’s a different story.
The teams renewed hostilities Thursday before an announced crowd of 19,805 and the match once again played to form, with both sides leaving blood on the field and the Galaxy escaping with a 2-0 victory in the Super Clasico on two goals by Edson Buddle.
“There’s no bad blood,” Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said. “We both want to win. Nobody’s going to give anything.”
Perhaps. But the team’s final two matches last season ended in scuffles, including one that featured then-Chivas coach Preki and the Galaxy’s David Beckham.
Neither was present Thursday. Preki is coaching in Toronto and Beckham is rehabilitating his ruptured Achilles’ tendon. But the rivalry continued without them.
Actually, rivalry might be the wrong word to describe this series. The Galaxy hasn’t lost to its roommates since September 2007. But you wouldn’t have guessed that from the physical play Thursday, with the teams combining for more yellow cards, five, than goals.
Buddle, perhaps the most physical of all, was in the middle of most of that, scoring the only goals and figuring in two of the yellow cards, drawing one and being charged with another.
Buddle’s goal six minutes into the Galaxy’s season-opener was the only score in a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution, and he waited an extra minute to score against Chivas. The goal came in similar fashion, though, on a header at the end of play started by Landon Donovan.
Donovan brought the ball up the right wing and passed to Sean Franklin, whose 30-yard pass found Buddle just outside the six-yard box.
Chivas, meanwhile, had trouble finishing off plays, just as it did in its 1-0 season-opening loss to the Colorado Rapids. But Chivas had its chances.
In the 80th minute, Chivas had two less than a second apart with Jesus Padilla, who was being pulled at from behind, directing a soft shot right into the chest of Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and Maicon Santos booting the rebound over the wide-open goal.
Five minutes later, Santos misfired again, redirecting a header into the side of the net.
A minute after that, the Galaxy, led again by Donovan and Buddle, were racing the other way, with the captain feeding Buddle deep in the box in the 87th minute for his third goal of the season, ending any hope for a Chivas comeback.