Home Depot Center, Carson Calif. March 10, 2013
The whistle blew to begin the game and almost as if on cue, Chivas USA began the game with a mental lapse. They let an FC Dallas player escape through their ranks and he had a one on one opportunity against Dan Kennedy, Chivas USA’s starting goalkeeper. Luckily for Chivas USA, Kennedy came up with an important save. That save seemed to calm down Chivas USA because they began to take control of the game. They had an opportunity to score a goal on a set play. Edgar Mejía, midfield player from Chivas USA, crossed the ball to the far post where Juan Agudelo, Chivas USA forward, was waiting for the pass. Agudelo controlled the ball, turned, and fired towards goal but an FC Dallas defender got in the way of the ball and stopped the shot from going in.
As the first half went on, FC Dallas continued to pressure the Chivas USA back line but the defense for Chivas USA would not break. At the 37th minute, Chivas USA had a great scoring opportunity. Tristan Bowen gave Laurent Courtois a long pass. The defensive player for Dallas misread the pass and let Courtois pass him. Courtois shot the ball low and the ball bounced in front of the FC Dallas goalkeeper but he was still able to save the shot.
The second half started a lot better for Chivas USA. They shook off their sluggish first half performance and seemed to be taking control of the game. They stated off with an excellent scoring opportunity by Miller Bolaños. He shot a low crossing shot to the far post but the FC Dallas goalkeeper was able to get a foot on it and made the ball miss its target. As the half continued Chivas kept pressuring FC Dallas’ defense but they lacked the finishing touch to be able to get their goal.
In the 57th minute of the game FC Dallas player David Ferreira scored after receiving a long pass from Fabian Castillo. Ferreira went by two Chivas USA defenders and shot the ball between Kennedy’s legs to score the first goal of the game.
The goal didn’t seem to affect Chivas USA who kept the pressure on FC Dallas. The pressure finally paid off in the 68th minute of play. Chivas USA stole the ball at midfield, Walter Vilchez saw a crossing Agudelo and passed the ball. Agudelo controlled the ball and faked a shot, cut the opposite way he was heading and switched the ball to his other foot causeing both the defender and goalkeeper to be out of position. Agudelo shot and scored drawing Chivas USA even with FC Dallas.
In the 76th minute of the match, Chivas USA had a goal kick. FC Dallas controlled the ball and headed the goal kick back towards their box. George John received the pass but couldn’t control it. Oswaldo Minda from Chivas USA stole the ball from a John, shot towards goal and scored. This gave Chivas USA a 2-1 lead.
To finish off the game, Chivas USA scored another goal in stoppage time. FC Dallas had a corner kick but Chivas USA defended it perfectly and they were able to go on a counter attack. Eric Avila started it with a long run down the middle of the field. As he got close to the box, the passed the ball to Edgar Mejía who passed it to Giovani Casillas. He received the ball and shot towards goal. The goal keeper slid forward but was unable to stop the ball. The ball rolled across the goal line and Chivas USA scored their third goal of the match. That ended up being the final score, Chivas USA 3- FC Dallas 1.
Chivas USA never let up. Even though they had the lead, they never stopped attacking or looking for scoring opportunities. That is what their new head coach, José Luis Sánchez Solà, is trying to implement in Chivas USA. His philosophy: always attack, never put your head down, never give up was easily seen in today’s game. After going down by 1 at home, Chivas USA did not give up. They didn’t put their heads down. What they did was continue to attack and they never let up. The result can speak for itself. Chivas Usa won.
Coach Chelis said after the match, “We cannot put our heads down. If I hate something, it is that my team put their head down and give up. I’m proud of how they never gave up even after being down by one at home again.” He is also trying to teach his team to enjoy what is happening now and worry about the future when it arrives. In his words, “We must celebrate here and now. What’s coming up will eventually be here but we must celebrate what we did today.”