SANTA CLARA -- Justin Braun scored in the seventh minute and Chivas USA beat the San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, on Saturday night to clinch its third straight MLS playoff appearance.
Braun took a long pass down the left side of the field from Alecko Eskandarian and drilled a hooking shot past goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
Chivas USA (12-10-6) has won four straight matches and six of its last seven. The win put Chivas a point behind Houston for the first place in the Western Conference.
The loss left San Jose (7-11-9) almost completely out of contention for a playoff spot. The Earthquakes were trying to become the first MLS expansion team to earn a playoff spot in 10 years.