There was a cracking goal from Paulo Nagamura.
There was a superlative save by Zach Thornton.
There was industrious work by every Chivas USA player who took the field Saturday night at the Home Depot Center.
The reward was a 1-0 victory over visiting Real Salt Lake that allowed Chivas to maintain the best record in Major League Soccer at 7-1-1, and to remain unbeaten at home this season.
"I felt after the first five or six minutes we were pretty good," Coach Preki said. "It was just a matter of time before we were going to score.
"We pushed forward in numbers and created some opportunities, but we just were not able to put the ball in the net in the first half. They were defending deep.
"We talked about it at halftime. I wanted to be sure that when we came out in the second half we moved the ball a little bit faster and were patient. Our moment will come, and it came."
Nagamura's goal, his team-high third of the year, came in the 54th minute. The ball was crossed from the right wing, and Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman tried to head it clear.
He succeeded only in sending it sideways, and Chivas midfielder Sacha Kljestan was on hand to head it back across to an unmarked Nagamura, standing just outside the Real penalty area.
Nagamura's shot kept a low trajectory and flashed past Salt Lake goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
"The ball was bouncing a little bit, but I had a perfect look at it," Nagamura said. "I just thought that if I hit the target I would get a goal. The ball deflected off someone's head, I believe, and went in."
Nagamura is nominally a defensive midfielder, but like the rest of Preki's players he can pop up anywhere.
"We're a team that's hard to play against," Nagamura said. "Like Preki said, we work for each other for 90 minutes. We make it tough for the other team to create anything. I think our mentality has been right from the first game of the season."
Real had almost grabbed a goal in the 36th minute when it had the Chivas defense scattered. A blazing shot by Will Johnson was blocked by Justin Braun, however, and the threat evaporated.
In the second half, Javier Morales fired a fierce shot that appeared headed for goal until Thornton threw himself to his right and tipped the ball around the post for a corner kick.
It was the save of the night, but Preki said it was all in a day's work for the veteran goalkeeper, who earned his league-high sixth shutout.
"It was a good save," Preki said. "Zach has been rock-solid for us. We had a very good look from the bench on that shot. I would say it was even a routine save for Zach."
The one-goal lead was never safe because Real kept mounting attacks of its own, and Preki was aware of the danger.
"When you play these types of games you're always afraid that because we were going forward and pushing with numbers that you are going to get a bad break going the other way," he said. "But thankfully we managed not to give anything away.
"I give the team full credit. We're happy with the win."