for this game

Chivas rallies to tie Galaxy 2-2 in playoff opener

Nov 2, 2009 - 2:30 AM By JOSEPH D'HIPPOLITO STATS MLS Correspondent

CARSON, Calif. (STATS) - Maykel Galindo punctuated his recovery from a chronic hernia injury by scoring perhaps his most important goal in three years with Chivas USA.

Galindo scored in the 50th minute as Chivas USA rallied for a 2-all tie with the Los Angeles Galaxy in the first game of their Western Conference semifinal series Sunday.

The winner of the second and final game next Sunday will advance to the conference final. If the clubs teams tie again, they will play 30 minutes of overtime - to be followed by penalty kicks if necessary.

"It was never going to be an easy game," Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said. "But we start both halves poorly and we get punished."

The Galaxy held a 2-1 lead when Galindo, who entered the game in the 46th minute, pounced on a pass from Galaxy rookie Omar Gonzalez intended for goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, and scored from 15 yards into an open net.

"That's the real Galindo," Chivas coach Preki said. "We encourage him every day in training to show that he still has it. I know he still has it and I know he has more in him. Now is the time for him to bring it on."

When asked what his goal meant personally, Galindo exhaled and said, "for me, it means a lot, more than anything because of what happened the past year, watching this team play and not being able to play. As a forward, I feed on goals."

Galindo, who defected from Cuba in 2005, led Chivas USA with 12 goals as a rookie in 2007. Since then, Galindo scored a total of five goals in MLS play, while being hampered by two hernia operations in two years.

"I don't feel 100 percent but I feel 95, 96 percent," Galindo said. "I've had to work hard after the injury and, thank God, the symptoms are much better and I feel much more confident in myself."

Maicon Santos put Chivas ahead 1-0 in the fourth minute with a diagonal 19-yard shot inside the right post, but Mike Magee and Landon Donovan responded with goals that gave the Galaxy a 2-1 halftime lead.

Magee exploited a defensive mistake to score in the 14th minute. Donovan's header fell to Chivas USA's Yamith Cuesta, who misplayed the ball off his right foot. Magee secured the ball and converted from nine yards.

Another mistake helped Donovan put the Galaxy ahead in the 41st minute. Santos sent Paulo Nagamura's clearance back to Chivas USA's penalty area. The ball fell between defender Carey Talley and Donovan, who scored on a soft 5-yard shot inside the right post.

"We gave up two goals that were amateur, at best," Chivas defender Ante Jazic said. "I haven't seen two goals like that, where we just pretty much put the ball in the net ourselves, in a game in a long time."

Ricketts made two big saves in a 3-minute span of the second half. He leaped to his left to deflect Nagamura's 23-yard line drive in the 57th minute, then blocked Santos' 3-yard shot at the left post with his feet in the 60th minute.

The Galaxy extended its unbeaten streak against Chivas USA to seven games.