CARSON, Calif. -- Edson Buddle scored in the 75th minute and the Colorado Rapids beat the short-handed Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 on Saturday night.
Buddle rocketed a shot to the upper-left corner after Vicente Sanchez stripped Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant of the ball on Los Angeles' left wing. The win kept Colorado (11-8-9) in fourth place in the Western Conference.
"It's a huge, huge win," said Rapids coach Oscar Pareja, whose team beat Los Angeles in two of three meetings this year. "At this point, you've got to get points, and (it's great) to get them, especially away, especially against L.A., a rival. ... The boys reacted today with such big character."
The Galaxy (13-10-4) lost at home for the first time since early May, dropping from second to third in the West -- two points behind second-place Seattle.
Los Angeles was missing four starters -- forwards Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, defender Omar Gonzalez and goalkeeper Jaime Penedo -- away with their national teams for World Cup qualifying. Colorado was without Gabriel Torres, Penedo's Panama teammate.
Los Angeles came close to scoring twice in the first half, but Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin made a leg save on Jack McBean's point-blank header in the second minute and Marcelo Sarvas hit the underside of the crossbar from an abrupt angle in the 34th. Irwin knocked away a shot by McBean in the 54th and Dunivant fired high in the 60th.
Buddle came close to firing the Rapids ahead in the 63rd minute, slicing a shot just past the right post after Chris Klute did well to win a ball at the end line, but his next opportunity left Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe no chance.
"I always like playing here and scoring goals here, especially in a game we needed the points," said Buddle, whom Los Angeles traded away last off-season. "It was an ugly road win, but we needed it."
Sarvas nearly pulled the Galaxy even three minutes after the goal, but Irwin tipped the shot away at the upper-right corner.