Brek Shea scored in the 71st minute to give FC Dallas a 1-0 victory over Chivas USA on a sweltering Saturday night.
The win extended Dallas' unbeaten streak to 11 games during which it has outscored opponents 18-7 and won seven times. The temperature was 102 degrees.
"It was a very difficult game for both teams," Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. "It was like putting your head in an oven, it was difficult. The heat affected all of us, even the guys on the bench. It's miserable out there. There's no place to go to get away from the heat. I'm really proud of these guys and how hard they work in practice and it wasn't one of our better games, but it's still three points."
Chivas USA remained last in the eight-team Western Conference.
"Poor first half," Chivas coach Martin Vasquez said. "We created chances in the second half, but I thought their goalkeeper came up big and we couldn't put one away. Lack of concentration on the goal we gave up. Overall, good second half, but where we are, we can't afford to not be good in the first half."
Shea broke the scoreless tie with his fifth goal of the season. The 20-year-old midfielder received a lofting cross from the left flank by Jair Benitez, and used all of his 6-foot-3 frame to leap up and head the ball over veteran Chivas goalkeeper Zach Thornton.
"Jair, I think every game this year, he's been serving great balls. Tonight, I just happened to be on the end of one," Shea said. "I just try to be dangerous. Most of my goals this year have been from good passes by my teammates like tonight by Jair. They get me the ball and I finish it."
Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman came up with two outstanding saves just minutes later to preserve the lead.
In the 77th, Hartman made a leaping save to deflect Michael Umana's header over the crossbar, coming off a corner kick.
Moments later, Hartman managed to knock Dario Delgado's point-blank header out of harm's way with a leaping swipe.
"On the corner kick, maybe we lost him because they made some substitutions and we didn't necessarily get our assignments right as quickly as we could," Hartman explained. "And then, a little bit of chaos, and fortunately, I was able to get across and make the save on the second one."
Chivas didn't threaten again, and Hartman recorded his sixth shutout of the year, making three saves.
While Chivas enjoyed the territorial advantage through a scoreless first half, Dallas began to gradually take over in the second.
Dallas forward Milton Rodriguez had a prime opportunity to score in the 53rd minute, off a free kick from just outside the penalty area. Rodriguez blasted a shot around the defensive wall in front toward the far goalpost, but Thornton made a spectacular diving save to punch the ball away.