Originally posted on Total MLS  |  Last updated 5/21/12

Chivas USA earned a historic result on Saturday night when they finally ended their terrible record in the Super Clasico by beating the LA Galaxy 1-0 in a tight affair. The Goats had not won a match against their city rivals since 2007 and were also chasing their first home win of 2012. However, both these records were broken in emphatic fashion at the weekend as Jose Correa scored the only goal of the game that saw Chivas USA move up to sixth in the Western Conference and LA Galaxy plummet to the basement of the league.

The first Super Clasico of the season, for fans of Chivas USA at least, was perhaps the most eagerly anticipated yet nerve-wracking match between these two sides for a long time. Not only had LA Galaxy been dominating this series for the last five years but Chivas had also been struggling at home with five defeats out of five so far in the new season. Despite the poor record over the last five years though, this was a significantly different Chivas USA side over the previous Super Clasicos and it was even a different Chivas USA side from last week. Much of the anticipation of this game was focused on whether new Goats Danny Califf and Juan Agudelo would start after their headline making mid-week trades to California. With LA Galaxy suffering from an MLS Cup hangover and struggling to find their form, there was a feeling that this was the perfect opportunity for Chivas USA to finally put an end to two, frankly awful, records.

There was a feeling during the Champions League match between Chelsea and Bayern Munich on Saturday afternoon that everything, no matter what Bayern did, would go Chelsea’s way. And it did. Well, even before the Super Clasico started a few hours later, there was a feeling amongst fans that this was going to be the same for Chivas USA. The first moment of optimism came when it was announced that both Califf and Agudelo would be starting the game, in a line-up that suggested Robin Fraser shared the fans’ confidence of a shock result. Admittedly, it did help the Chivas cause when Bruce Arena decided not to select the attacking trio of Beckham, Buddle and Keane but it was still a line-up that posed a danger to a Rojiblanco defense that leaked late goals.

The first half began and ended with Chivas USA dominating proceedings and it was evident that, with the new players included, the team had an air of confidence about them. The attacking trio of Correa, Agudelo and Bolaños looked extremely promising and it was the latter that got the best chance of the first half. After robbing Juninho of possession in the 34th minute, he breezed past ex-goat Lopes and rifled a shot from the outside of the area that struck the base of the post. At the other end, Chivas were coping well with whatever the Galaxy threw at them and Califf was instrumental in this. Starting in the heart of the defense, the new acquisition looked like a Chivas veteran throughout the game and anchored the backline perfectly.

The half ended scoreless (not a rare occurrence at the HDC) but the fans remained hopeful that this was going their way. Not surprisingly though, after a poor 1st half, the Galaxy came out in the 2nd half as the stronger team. Only five minutes into the second half Dan Kennedy was forced into his, now trademark, game saving stops when he made a magnificent double save from Noonan and Nakazawa. Dan Kennedy was again one of the heroes because of these saves but this was actually one of his more quiet nights as a goalkeeper. Although starting to dominate, LA Galaxy were poor going forward and couldn’t take their chances…something Chivas had been guilty of all season. However, this all changed for the Goats in the 71st minute when they got their second penalty in as many home games.

Oswaldo Minda floated a dangerous cross into the box and Agudelo collided with Galaxy keeper Perk which resulted in the ball falling invitingly to Jose Correa. The Colombian did not hesitate then to volley the loose ball goalwards and towards the hapless David Junior Lopes. The ball cannoned off his arm on the goal line and despite protesting his innocence the referee instantly pointed to the spot and pointed Lopes in the direction of an early shower. Correa grabbed the ball, determined to make sure this time the ball did find the net, and although converting the spot kick it was pulled back for encroachment. However, despite the pressure of a re-take, he again sent the ball past the outstretched Perk for his second goal in two matches. Chivas USA’s luck has been lacking in home games this season and after being forced to re-take the successful penalty it wouldn’t have been surprising to see Chivas fail at the second attempt. However, as the feeling was before the game, this was destined to be Chivas’ night.

Even with the substitute appearances of David Beckham and Chad Barrett the Galaxy failed to put Chivas under any real pressure and the Goats did what they have failed to do on several occasions this season…hold on in the remaining minutes.

The explosion of noise at the final whistle is something that has been missing for a long time at the Home Depot Center. The home faithful have had to endure a torrid time of late, waiting far too long for that elusive home victory or even a point. The scenes of jubilation at the end then ranged from crazed screams of disbelief to tears of joy. So often we have seen the Chivas players trudge past the fans at the end of a game and disappear up into the tunnel, heads quite rightly hung in disappointment. This weekend it was the LA Galaxy who swiftly left the field of play and the staff and players of Chivas USA who hung around to join in on the party. They knew what this meant. Not only to the fans but what it could mean for their season. With the winless home run now over and a win over their arch-rivals secured after so long, confidence is sky high. Add to this, the impressive showing of Califf and Agudelo on their debuts and the extremely tough run of games coming up looks a lot more exciting.

(image courtesy of Getty Images)

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