CARSON, Calif. (AP) – Marcos Mondaini scored in the 70th minute off a pass from Paulo Nagamura and Chivas USA won for the second time this year at home, beating the expansion Portland Timbers 1-0 on Saturday night.
Mondaini scored in his return from a four-game suspension for a tackle on Real Salt Lake's Javier Morales.
Chivas USA improved to 4-4-5 in front of a crowd of 14,076 at the Home Depot Center.
The Timbers (5-5-2) controlled the late stretches after the goal, but were unable to tie it. Portland is 0-4-2 on the road.
Mondaini was a frequent challenger of the Timbers' back line and created several chances for the previously stagnant Chivas USA backline. Following the match, the Argentine forward was visibly moved about his performance after a difficult few weeks.
''Thanks to God, physically I felt very good,'' Mondaini said. ''I was tired in the last minutes and I think that being out for four games started to affect me, but I'm very grateful to score and to give the team a win.''
The Timbers' best opportunity came moments after Mondaini's goal when Jack Jewsbury fired a shot from 25 yards that forced Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy to make a sprawling save.
''We're sitting tonight after two straight losses, tied at 17 points and we're still in good shape,'' Portland coach Jon Spencer said. ''I told the guys don't be happy that we lost, but for a new team we're not doing so badly. We had opportunities to score and we're still hanging around with a chance tie at the end.''