Carson City, California- Home Depot Center, April 27, 2013 (Photos: Victor Posadas)
The game between Chivas USA and San Jose Earthquake was Chivas USA’s second game of a very tough stretch they were on. The previous week they played against Real Salt Lake where they suffered a loss to. The next week they were going to play Sporting Kansas City. They knew they had to get good results in these next two games to show they were legitimate contenders in the MLS. Chivas USA began the game playing very sloppy. They had been playing like this the past few games. Their passing was not crisp, their movement was uncoordinated, and they weren’t communicating. San Jose on the other had came out playing very aggressive. They knew they could pressure Chivas USA and create mistakes because Chivas USA had showed that that tactic would work on them.
San Jose’s first scoring opportunity came after a mistake from Chivas USA’s defense. A Chivas USA defender had the ball and tried to pass it back to the goalie, Dan Kennedy. The pass wasn’t strong enough to reach Kennedy, so he was forced to run towards the ball. As Kennedy was running towards the ball, San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart also ran towards the ball. They reached it first and shot towards goal but Kennedy was close enough to take away any shooting angle. Then in the 12th minute of the game, San Jose created their first scoring opportunity. They had the ball on the left flank. They crossed the ball towards Wondolowski who passed the ball to Lenhart received the ball and shot on goal but Kennedy was there to save it.
For the rest of the half there was not real attacking from any team. Most of the game was being played in the midfield with both teams not only fighting for the ball but also for attacking position. Then in the 40th minute of play, San Jose was able to score a goal. The goal came after Joaquin Velazquez fouled Lenhart. Shea Salinas took the free kick and he crossed the ball towards the center of the box. Wondolowski was there to receive it and shot the ball towards the far post and was able to beat a diving Kennedy to score the first goal of the game.
The half ended in a controversial call. Chivas USA had the ball and were running towards the box. They passed the ball to Tristan Bowen. He received the ball and went by one defender. The defender seemed to push Bowen from behind and Bowen fell. The referee did not see it that way. He thought Bowen dove and gave Bowen a yellow for diving.
Chivas USA didn’t let that call affect them in the second half. They began the second half with the equalizing goal. After San Jose cleared a free kick cross, Chivas USA regained the ball. They ran towards the edge of the box and shot on goal. The ball was deflected but Mario de Luna was there to kick the ball with his right foot and score the goal in the 47th minute.
Then in the 51st minute Chivas USA scored the go-ahead-goal. Erick Avila had the ball on the left flank and centered a low cross towards the middle of the box. A Chivas USA forward slid to kick the ball on goal but missed. Right behind him, Bowen was there to kick a left footed shot on goal and scored the second goal of the game. Bowen was able to get some “revenge” after receiving a yellow for an apparent dive. He gave Chivas USA the lead in a much contested game.
After the goal, the game began heating up psychically. Both teams began hitting each other a lot more than the norm. A lot of the hits were borderline legal. Not only was it heating up psychically, both teams began finding an offensive rhythm, especially San Jose. They had many scoring opportunities and a few of them were blocked right on goal line. For many of the blocks, it seemed that Chivas USA had lady luck on their side because San Jose was missing a lot of open looks.
Their luck ran out in the 77th minute of the match. Salinas ran up the right flank and crossed the ball towards the middle of the box. As the ball was arriving, Cordell Cato cut across the box and kicked the ball with his left foot into the net. All Kennedy could do was stand there and watch as San Jose tied the game 2-2.
The game ended with a 2-2 tie. Chivas USA put up a great fight which their coach, “Chelis” was very happy about. He was happy that his team fought hard and worked throughout the 90 minutes. The players didn’t repeat the same sentiments that “Chelis” had. They were happy that they came away with one point but in reality, they wanted to win and get three points out of it.
Their next game is away against Sporting Kansas City, May 5 at Kansas City.