The LA Galaxy were coming off of a Thursday CONCACAF Champions League match, did not have the services of Landon Donovan and were going up against red hot FC Dallas so a loss looked inevitable. LA didn't look interested in what was supposed to happen, though, getting second half goals from Juninho and Todd Dunivant to pick up an impressive 2-0 win on Sunday at the Home Depot Center.
While the Galaxy did look very good for stretches, they only had that opportunity thanks to some good fortune early on. David Ferreira hit a lovely ball through the LA defense and right into the path of Fabian Castillo, who was in behind the Galaxy defense. Dunivant went to ground and took down Castillo and immediately, it looked like a foul that would draw a red card. But the referee decided against it, showing Dunivant a yellow card, likely because he though Josh Saunders had a chance to get off of his line and get to the ball. Whatever the reason, LA got very, very lucky.
LA had the better of the play early on and continued that throughout the first half. They earned corner kicks and free kicks in dangerous areas, but couldn't take advantage of them. Despite being the better side and putting themselves in good places, they didn't test Kevin Hartman much. That is also due in part to George John, who was good all match, but was especially excellent in the first halftime and helped send the match into halftime scoreless.
The match opened up after the break and Dallas got some opportunities going forward. They tested Saunders as much as LA tested Hartman as the match even out, but like the Galaxy, the Hoops couldn't break through.
After more than an hour of misses, it took a 66th minute blunder by Matt Hedges for the scoreboard to finally get some work. The rookie took a touch too many and comically gave the ball away to Jose Villarreal, who took it off of Hedges' foot. Villarreal then rounded Hartman before squaring for Juninho. The Brazilian then only had to knock the ball into the open net and LA were in front.
Both teams continued to get their chances after the 66th minute and it looked like LA was beginning to tire. Dallas tried to stretch them out and play in space to take advantage, but some more quality goalkeeping by Sanders and some excellent tackling by Omar Gonzalez kept the Hoops at bay.
Dunivant, who was lucky to still be on the field, put the match away in the 84th minute after some fine team play by the Galaxy. Dunivant made the initial pass to get LA into the attacking third, then while a trio of LA players passed to keep the ball and stretch the Dallas defense wide, Dunivant ran forward and found a seam in the Dallas defense. Michael Stephens delivered a pass right onto Dunivant's foot, which put the veteran in on goal and after a clinical finish, LA had the goal that sealed up a good win at home.