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Chivas down Houston behind Braun hat trick

Jul 24, 2011 - 4:51 AM Carson, CA (Sports Network) - The Houston Dynamo and Chivas USA entered their match Saturday unbeaten in their past four Major League Soccer matches, both teams going 1-0-3 in that stretch.

But only Chivas was able to extend its unbeaten streak, defeating Houston 3-0 at The Home Depot Center behind a Justin Braun hat trick.

This was not only Braun's second hat trick of his career, but also the second of this season. He recorded a three-goal effort against Red Bull New York on May 15th. Saturday's hat trick saw Braun move ahead of Nick LaBrocca for the team lead in goals with seven on the season.

Some great team build-up play got Chivas on the board in the 31st minute. Chivas passed the ball around in the midfield before sending it wide to Ante Jazic on the left. Jazic delivered a pinpoint cross into the box where Braun snuck in front of his mark to put a one-time shot past Tally Hall for the 1-0 lead.

Nine minutes later, Braun doubled Chivas USA's lead after getting on the end of a Blair Gavin deflected through ball. Braun provided a deft touch and a classy finish to flick his shot over an on-rushing Hall and into the back of the net.

Things went from bad to worse for the Dynamo in the second half. JeVaughn Watson was sent off after earning his second yellow card of the game in the 70th minute for a rash challenge on LaBrocca.

Down two goals and playing with 10 men away from home, Houston were done and dusted.

Braun completed his hat trick in the 86th minute, and it was Jazic who provided yet another perfect assist. Jazic's far post cross found an unmarked Braun, who threw himself feet first at the ball and redirected it into the net to cap an impressive victory for Chivas.

Chivas (6-7-8) will aim to extend its unbeaten streak when it travels to Pizza Hut Park to face FC Dallas on July 31st, while Houston (5-7-9) will look to regroup when it hosts Seattle Sounders FC on July 30th.