Chicago, March 24th
In its first road match of the season, Chivas USA (2-1-1) routed the Chicago Fire (0-3-1), 4-1, Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park, thanks to four second-half scores. Midfielder Edgar “Chore” Mejia and defender Joaquin Velazquez, in their first seasons in MLS, recorded their first goals.
Forward Juan Agudelo put the Red-and-White up by two on his second goal on the season, and Chicago added an own-goal on the score line. The Fire’s Patrick Nyarko scored the lone goal for the hosts. With the win, Chivas USA extends its unbeaten streak to three and currently sits in second place in the Western Conference with seven points. Get Chivas odds for next game on betting sites
Chivas USA Head Coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola “Chelis”
On the importance of getting a road victory: “We had a lot of luck. We won because we scored goals, it is as simple as that. I never thought I would have told you this but we won because we scored two goals. They played with a lot of bad luck, a lot of bad luck. They did a lot to try and score the first half and nothing. We had five opportunities, and scored on four.
This is a group who has no blame of what happened, or they have all the blame of what happened. Because they shoot, because they go in, because they organize, and because they keep on shooting. It has nothing to do with the great effort that these players give. We are still moving forward and have yet to take a step backwards.”
· Chivas USA goalkeeper and captain Dan Kennedy denied the Fire’s attack on a number of plays in the first half. In the eighth and 11th minutes, Kennedy turned away a pair of promising looks by the host side, as he got his hands on a cross from the left side of the box and into the short area. Three minutes later, on the end of a free kick taken from the left seam, the Red-and-White keeper again got his hands on a Chicago header.
· In the 37th minute, midfielder Marvin Iraheta sent a low volley from about 25 yards out over the Chicago defense to a cutting Tristan Bowen, but the forward could not get on the end of the pass for a header attempt inside the box.
· The Rojiblancos defense came up big in the 39th minute when Chris Rolfe had a brief one-on-one breakaway against Kennedy. With defender Bobby Burling closing in on Rolfe from behind, both Chivas players met the midfielder inside the box to break up the threat, and the sides went into the half tied at zero.
· Chivas USA opened the scoring in the 57th minute when midfielder Jorge Villafaña – who came on as a sub to start the second half to make his first appearance of the season – sent a cross from the left into the box. Agudelo gathered the ball and laid off a short pass to Mejia just outside the box. Mejia squared up and unleashed a strike past Chicago keeper Paolo Tornaghi to put the Rojiblancos up 1-0.
· Chicago evened the score at 1-1 in the 64th minute when Sherjill MacDonald hooked up with Nyarko inside the box with a short threaded pass. Maicon Santos was also credited with an assist on the sequence.
· The Red-and-White re-took the lead in the 73rd when Mejia recorded his first MLS career assist off a free kick from the left seam. Mejia sent his shot toward the far post, where Velazquez headed the entry back across the short area and inside the left post to make the score 2-1 – a lead the Rebaño Angelino would not relinquish.
· In the 75th minute, after Chivas USA broke up a free kick threat deep inside Red-and-White territory, Kennedy quickly sent an outlet pass to Villafaña on the left wing. Villafaña pushed the ball up the field and sent a pass over the top to Agudelo, who made his run with a Chicago defender on him. Agudelo brought the pass down near the arc, created enough space to get off a clean shot and beat Tornaghi to his left to go up 3-1.
· Chicago made the match 4-1 in favor of the Rebaño Angelino in the 89th minute on an own-goal by Jalil Anibaba when the defender could not clear out a shot by sub Jose Correa cleanly from inside the box