Dunivant scores to help Galaxy end Dynamo's runDunivant scores to help Galaxy end Dynamo's runJun 29, 2009 - 5:42 AM By JOSEPH D'HIPPOLITO STATS MLS Correspondent
CARSON, Calif. (STATS) - The Los Angeles Galaxy saved one of its better performances of the season for the leaders of Major League Soccer's Western Conference.
Defender Todd Dunivant scored in the 24th minute and the Galaxy ended the Houston Dynamo's 11-game unbeaten streak with a 1-0 victory Sunday night.
Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts earned his third shutout for the Galaxy (3-3-9), which beat the Dynamo (8-3-4) at home in MLS play for the first time.
"Having the ability to concentrate and battle for 90 minutes was something that we've been lacking this year," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. "But we got it done tonight."
Arena also praised the play of his central defenders, Gregg Berhalter and Omar Gonzalez.
"For the first time this year, our center backs played extremely well over 90 minutes," Arena said. "They didn't make any mistakes and they organized the team well."
Despite the loss, Houston still leads Chivas USA by one point in the West.
Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said that the Galaxy's defense added to his team's frustration.
"I think we came out flat," he said. "In the first half, they were playing a little bit more physical than we were. Our passing was off and their defenders were being very tight."
Dunivant scored his first goal since 2006 by using his left foot to deflect Mike Magee's 14-yard shot from seven yards inside the right post.
"I was a little surprised myself," said Dunivant, who last while playing for the New York Red Bulls. "I just found myself in a little gap. It didn't take much; it was just a little touch, but it was enough."
Magee began the scoring sequence by playing a short corner kick to Eddie Lewis, receiving Lewis's return pass and faking the Dynamo's Brian Mullan out of position.
"Initially, they had two guys out to defend (the corner kick)," Dunivant said. "For some reason, they dropped off and only had one. The guys did a good job of reading that and played it short."
Kinnear blamed himself for the goal
"It was my decision to pull a guy off and, therefore, we got exposed," Kinnear said. "I apologized to the guys for that."
For Arena, Dunivant's goal proved pivotal for his team's confidence.
"We've done all the things you do to lose games," Arena said. "We've consistently given up the first goal at home and played with 10 players. With the team we have, we can't be in position to be chasing games the way we've done."
Ricketts finished with three saves in his first shutout since May 2. He made his biggest in the 90th minute, when he blocked Cam Weaver's low 5-yard shot off Stuart Holden's corner kick with his legs.
The Galaxy's Bryan Jordan had a chance to score on a breakaway in second-half stoppage time, but goalkeeper Pat Onstad blocked his point-blank shot near the penalty spot.
Gonzalez left in the 62nd minute with cramps in the hamstring muscles of both legs and was replaced by Tony Sanneh.
Los Angeles won without Landon Donovan, who scored a goal for the United States in its 3-2 loss to Brazil in the FIFA Confederations Cup final in South Africa earlier Sunday.
Dynamo midfielder Ricardo Clark also played in that game.
LOS ANGELES 1 FINAL
Jun 29 12:00 AM
LOS ANGELES 1 HALFTIME
Jun 28 10:55 PM
- MLS UPDATE
LOS ANGELES 1
LOS ANGELES GOAL: Todd Dunivant in the 24th minute
Dynamo 0, Galaxy 1 1st - 24'Jun 28 10:34 PM
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