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Kljestan powers Chivas USA past Real Salt Lake

Apr 6, 2008 - 6:33 AM CARSON, California (Ticker) -- It appears the cure for what ails Chivas USA is a meeting with Real Salt Lake.

Sacha Kljestan had a goal and an assist, leading Chivas to a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

Chivas (1-0-1) has not lost in its last eight meetings against Real Salt Lake, winning five of those matches against the team it entered the MLS with in 2005.

"It was very important for us to get three points in our first home game," Chivas coach Preki said. "The game played out not the way I would've wanted it, but sometimes things don't work the way you want them to. But in the end, it's a victory.

"Salt Lake came out tonight and gave us a good game (but) I don't think we were our best. Remembering from last year, we were not at our best in the beginning of the season."

Chivas opened the scoring in the 32rd minute with Kljestan's first goal of the season as he broke away from the pack on a perfect advance pass from Maykel Galindo and sent a right-footed blast from the penalty box past Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

Atiba Harris, acquired by Chivas in a November 2007 trade with Real Salt Lake, paid back his former team in the 55th minute when Kljestan attacked the right side of the penalty box and fitted a soft pass on point to Harris, who beat Rimando to the right side for his first tally of the campaign.

"Just to get off the mark with my new club is what's important to me," Harris said. "I think winning your home opener is important. I'm glad we got the points and I'm happy to be playing for Chivas and looking forward to having a great season."

Real Salt Lake answered just two minutes later on a penalty kick set up by a foul on Kljestan. Javier Morales launched a kick through the Chivas defense and right to Kenny Deuchar, who headed the ball past goalkeeper Brad Guzan for its lone goal.

Alecko Eskandarian added an empty netter in stoppage time.

Guzan finished with two saves for Chivas while his Real Salt Lake counterpart Rimando turned away five shots.