RECAP: Dunivant's header the difference as LA top Portland
CARSON, Calif. – A refreshed LA Galaxy snapped a seven-game winless streak while picking up their first shutout of the season with a 1-0 win against the Portland Timbers at The Home Depot Center on Sunday.
With the result, the Galaxy (4-8-2) overtook the Timbers (3-6-4), in the Western Conference.
Left back Todd Dunivant accounted for the lone goal, knocking a header off the post and past a diving Troy Perkins in the 61st minute. The Galaxy's defense, which had surrendered leads in each of the past two games, stood firm and did not allow the Timbers back into the match.
WATCH: Match Highlights
The Galaxy welcomed goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who last played a league match on April 21, back into the lineup. Saunders recently returned from a period of personal leave and played the Galaxy's last two reserve matches.
Landon Donovan got things rolling when he nearly put the Galaxy up on the quarter hour, running onto a loose ball from 20 yards out and lining up a shot before firing a rocket that caromed off the post.
In the 26th minute, Kris Boyd took his chances from nearly 35 yards out, but Saunders dove to his right and made a one-handed save.
Dunivant finally broke open the scoring in the 61st minute when Beckham swung a corner kick to the far post. The LA defender ran onto the floating ball and headed it down, off the right post and into the net. The goal was Dunivant's first of the season and first since May 2010 against Seattle.
The Timbers, however, thought that Donovan had obstructed Perkins, who earned a yellow card for dissent following play, giving Dunivant the time and space to score.
Mwanga set up midfielder Kalif Alhassan for one of the Timbers’ better chances of the second half in the 54th minute. Alhassan’s left-footed shot from outside the box was saved by Saunders.
However, the Galaxy’s defense remained stout. David Lopes and AJ DeLaGarza did well throughout the match to match Mwanga and Boyd’s physicality while Dunivant and Sean Franklin held their ground on the flanks.
Portland Timbers (3-6-4, 13pts) at LA Galaxy (4-8-2, 14pts)
June 17, 2012 – The Home Depot Center
LA: Dunivant (Beckham), 61
LA: Dunivant (Caution), 33
POR: Chabala (Caution), 40
POR: Perkins (Caution), 61
POR: Chara (Caution), 71
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Perkins, D Jewsbury ©, D Mosquera, D Horst, D Chabala, M Alhassan (Alexander, 79), M Chara, M Nagbe, M Songo’o (Zizzo, 65), F Mwanga, F Boyd (Fucito, 73)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Bendik, D Danso, M Palmer, F Richards
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Boyd, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Boyd, 2); FOULS: 9 (Chara, Horst, 3); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 1; SAVES: 2
LA: GK Saunders, D Franklin, D Lopes, D DeLaGarza, D Dunivant, M Jordan (Nakazawa, 80), M Beckham, M Juninho, M Sarvas, F Barrett (McBean, 82), F Donovan ©
Substitutes Not Used: GK Perk, D Gaul, D Meyer, M Garcia, M Walker
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Donovan, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Barrett, Dunivant, Sarvas, 1); FOULS: 10 (Juninho, Sarvas, 2; OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4
Referee: Geoff Gamble
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Kevin Duliba
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Sunny, 72 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial