Carson City, California- Home Depot Center, March 30, 2013 (Photos: Victor Posadas)
Chivas USA started playing the game fans have become accustomed to. They pressed the opposing team often and quickly. As soon as Vancouver had the ball, there was a Chivas USA player on him. Chivas USA did not allow any shots on goal until the 22nd minute of play. Just like they were playing defence, Chivas USA was playing aggressively on the offensive side of the ball. They were probing the Vancouver Whitecaps’ defence looking for a weak spot to exploit and score a goal. They were shooting towards goal whenever they had the open shot.
This aggressive play by Chivas USA paid off in the 12th minute of play. After some tussling for the ball, Chivas USA’s Carlos Alvarez, ended up with the ball on the left corner of the box. He turned to shoot what could be called a probing shot but it hit Jun Marques Davidson on the arm and redirected the ball towards goal. The ball passed by the outstretched arm of Vancouver Whitecaps’ goalkeeper, Joe Cannon and went into the net giving Chivas USA a 1 to nil lead. The goal was later ruled as an own goal.
After the goal, Vancouver seemed to wake up offensively and started to create more opportunities at goal. They began to shot more at goal but they lacked the precision to make the ball go into the back of the net. One opportunity they had was when Alain Rochat shot on goal but Dan Kennedy was able to block it. He wasn’t able to corral the ball and Daigo Kobayashi was able to shoot but he shot it towards the stands. Even though they were creating more opportunities, they were not very dangerous. As the half began to finish, both teams stopped creating any real opportunities. Most of the game was being played in the middle of the field.
Chivas USA again looked more dangerous at the start of the second half. They almost had a goal when a player sent a low cross towards the middle of the box but the shot was just outside the goalpost. In the 55th minute of the game, Jorge Villafaña crossed the ball to the far post where Eric Avila was waiting for the cross. He hit a volley shoot towards goal and beat the goalie for the second goal of the game. He gave Chivas USA a 2 to nil lead.
In the 64th minute of the game Vancouver Whitecaps was finally able to get on the board. Darren Mattocks was able to shot towards goal but Kennedy was there to block the ball. The only problem was that he didn’t hold on to the ball and pushed the ball to where Kenny Miller was waiting for a deflection. Miller headed the ball towards an empty net and scored the first goal of the game for Vancouver cutting the lead in half. The score was 2-1 in favor of Chivas USA.
As the time continued to tick away, Vancouver began to attack more knowing they were closer to get a tie. They had some decent opportunities but the Chivas USA defense would not break. Another opportunity came in the 80th minute when Mattocks was able to get behind the defense and chip a shot over Kennedy but the ball had too much air and went over the crossbar. In the 90th minute of the game, Kekuta Menneh of the Vancouver Whitecaps was able to outrun the entire Chivas USA defense and have a 1 v.1 against Kennedy. Kennedy came out and met him just outside the box and we able to disrupt Menneh run and Menneh kicked the ball out of bounds.
The referee blew the final whistle and Chivas USA was able to win their third game of the season. They have continued to play the way their head coach likes, hard. Now they have a record of 3-1-1 and are second in the Western Conference Standings. With these two goals, Chivas USA is still leading the league in total goals with 10.Last season, through the first 5 games, Chivas USA had only scored two goals and they came in the fifth game of the season. This season, Chivas USA seem to score at will. That is something that Chivas USA didn’t have last year, goals. Their next opponent will be the Colorado Rapids on April 13th at home.