for this game

Chivas ends drought, snuffs out Fire

Jun 22, 2008 - 9:52 PM
CARSON, California (Ticker) -- Chivas USA stopped one streak and that helped bring an end to another.

Sacha Kljestan and Justin Braun scored first-half goals to lead Chivas to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire on Thursday night.

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for Chivas (5-6-2), which had been shut out by identical 1-0 scores and had failed to register a goal for 275 minutes before Kljestan connected.

"I'm very pleased with the result," Chivas coach Preki said. "I thought for the most part we were pretty good."

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan made one save for his third shutout of the season and 23rd of his career.

Chivas had to do it the hard way after midfielder Paulo Nagamura picked up his second yellow card in stoppage time in the first half, drawing an ejection and forcing his team to play with 10 men the rest of the way.

"I'm disappointed with the result tonight," Chicago coach Denis Hamlett said. "We had our chances and to play the second half with a man advantage and not do what I asked at halftime, which was to play out wide and stretch them out, is very disappointing."

The Fire (6-5-1), who tumbled to their third straight defeat, also hurt themselves by missing a pair of glittering scoring opportunities - both by Chad Barrett.

Sent in alone by Cuauhtemoc Blanco under four minutes into the game, Barrett fired a point-blank shot wide right of the net.

Kljestan ended Chivas' scoreless streak in the 26th minute, fending off a defender on a run down the right side and sliding a low shot past Jon Busch inside the far post.

"I felt that we started slowly and that we gave them chances in the first 12 minutes," Preki said. "After that we did well and I thought if we can get ahead now, we'll be in good shape."

An onrushing Braun doubled the lead six minutes later, converting a beautiful centering pass from Ante Razov to make it 2-0.

I knew Ante would put that ball into the middle and I was just hoping to run onto it and fortunately I got to it and put it away," Braun said.

Razov also assisted on the first tally, marking the first two assists of the season for MLS' career No. 3 goal-scorer.

"You know, it's part of being a veteran that I go out there and try to make things happen, scoring goals or setting them up, it's all good," Razov said. "We needed a victory tonight and we did it. I'm just glad to be a part of it."

Barrett had another golden chance in the 35th minute, deking Guzan before shooting wide right of an open net.

"We had several chances early," Hamlett said. "The opportunity that Chad had early on is a chance that you have to finish because you never know how many or where your next chance will be after that."