Juan Pablo Angel canceled out Sacha Kljestan's opener to give New York a draw with Chivas USA. Kljestan missed a late PK in the 1-1 draw.
Chivas USA tired to establish home dominance early. Ante Jazic wiggled to the endline of the New York half and cut back sharply into the box in just the second minute. Sacha Kljestan latched onto the pass and snapped a shot on goal, but Bouna Coundoul deflected it around the upright for a corner in his first save of the match.
The visitors weren't content to sit back, and hit back throughout the half through the sprightly Mac Kandji. The pacy attacker burned past Yamith Cuesta in the seventh minute, cutting in toward goal. The Colombian centerhalf recovered well, however, to poke the ball out for a corner.
Even hitting his head on the corner of a table off the field when he tripped trying to save a loose ball couldn't slow down Kandji. He continued to pester the Chivas USA backline.
However, it was Chivas striker Maicon Santos with the closest chances of the half. After only 10 minutes, he flicked on a Paulo Nagamura long range blast which tricked Coundoul, but whizzed just wide of the post. Midway through the half, he cut a ball around his marker and bore down on goal. His angle wasn't acute enough, and he had to attempt a cutback which was knocked out for a corner. From that set piece, Santos connected with a stiff header that once again sailed wide.
Toward the end of the half, it was Kandji causing havoc again. Kljestan slid in with a striker's tackle on Kandji in the corner. Danleigh Borman whipped in the free kick across the face of goal where the ball only needed a touch into the net, but no one stepped forward to apply the finish.
After blunt showings up top from both teams, Chivas USA brought on Maykel Galindo for the ineffective Jesus Padilla. One of the Cuban's first touches was laying the ball back to an open Michael Lahoud when Justin Braun's knockdown went behind Galindo. The rookie smacked a shot straight down the throat of Coundoul.
A couple minutes past the hour mark, the game finally got its opening goal. Santos harried Albert Celades until the Spaniard coughed it up to Galindo, who played a horizontal pass to Kljestan. The U.S. international cut in on his right foot and uncorked a dipping shot up and over Coundoul from 25 yards. Seth Stammler clipped the ball on its way into the net.
In the next two minutes Maicon Santos tried similarly audacious shots, drawing some fine goalkeeping from Coundoul to keep the lead at one.
New York didn't give up, though. Kandji tested Zach Thornton in goal with a narrow shot when he should have centered for Angel and then the Colombian hit his own shot from distance that went wide with Thornton scrambling.
Back on the other end, Santos did everything but score. When Kljestan slid a ball into his stride in the 74th minute, the Brazilian smacked a shot off the crossbar. A few minutes later he hit a thunderbolt of a free kick around the wall that Coundoul parried.
Santos and Chivas USA soon rued those misses. In the 84th minute, Angel took the lone good chance he had all game. Substitute Sinisa Ubiparapovic cut back to his right foot and curled a cross in between the Chivas USA central defenders where Angel was lurking. The Colombian made no mistake with his clinical header.
In injury time, there was more drama. Nagamura's cross was dug out by Kljestan at the far post, who centered for Galindo. The Cuban hit a shot with the outside of his boot that bounced off the outstretched arm of Andrew Boyens. Kljestan stepped up to take the penalty kick and sent Coundoul the wrong way, but slipped his shot wide of the post with the three points freely on offer.
The game ended in a draw that will feel more like a loss for the Goats.
Zac Lee Rigg, Goal.com
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