Livewire striker Edson Buddle snatched a precious victory for L.A. Galaxy against New York at the Red Bull Arena with a well taken tenth minute goal.
Put through on goal thanks to an exquisite pass by the impressive Brazilian starlet Juninho, the U.S.A. international notched his thirteenth goal of the season stunning the large New York crowd.
For the remainder of the game the Galaxy relied on their well marshalled defence and a disciplined performance from their midfield, frustrating the home side by pressing the Red Bulls' midfield and looking to Landon Donovan and Buddle to hit New York on the break.
Juninho in particular had a great game, snapping up loose passes and cleverly retaining possession; relieving pressure on his defence and probing intelligently when possible, releasing Donovan and Buddle to counter attack.
Buddle had two great chances in the second half to end the game as a spectacle, spurning a great opportunity following good work by Donovan early in the second half and then forcing a great save out of Coundoul towards the end of the match.
New designated Red Bulls player, Rafael Marquez tried manfully to bring them back into the game, but without runners from their midfield their much vaunted strike force of Juan Pablo Angel and Thierry Henry were left in not so splendid isolation.
Henry in particular looked subdued , challenging refereeing decisions and looking immobile, his movement inhibited by an apparent groin injury. Angel went close twice from set pieces either side of half time , but apart from those incidents Donovan Ricketts has a quieter night in goal for Los Angeles than he may have expected.
New York's failure to threaten in wide areas and lack of craft from central midfield made their attacking moves predictable and Los Angeles ran out comfortable winners.
Not pretty but effective.