Chivas USA extend unbeaten streak to three games.
Chivas USA brought the pressure early as Sacha Kljestan, reprising his role as a withdrawn forward, opened the match firing an array of shots at the New England Preston Burpo’s goal. New England opened the match in a 4-5-1 formation while Chivas USA opened in a 4-4-2, with a withdrawn forward.
The pressure paid off early as a Kevin Alston slipped on a routine play on a ball in the box, which Jesus Padilla calmly put away. A Zach Thornton kick was played on by rookie Ben Zemanski to Padilla in the 26th minute leading to the first goal of the match. Shortly after, a skirmish between Marko Petrovic and Zemanski resulted in bookings for both players as referee Steven Depiero sought to take control of the match. After a conversation with the fourth official, Depiero issued Petrovic a straight red card, while Zemanski received a yellow.
The match then ensued as expected, with Chivas USA comfortable in possession as they methodically searched for an opening with a man advantage. In the 33rd minute, Justin Braun split the middle of the New England defense for the Goats second goal. Mariano Trujillo picked up his second assist in as many weeks on the goal. A 41st minute shot by Braun prompted a save by Burpo as New England.
Much of the half was played in the New England third of the field as an already anemic offense was further hindered by the loss of Petrovic. Chivas USA effectively held the ball with authority, which sharply contrasted with their early season struggles, when the midfield looked tentative in the attack. New England remained compact as they looked to regroup at the half with either a player substitution or with a shift in strategy.
As the teams headed into the locker room, Chivas USA had a marked advantage in time of possession and shots on goal. For New England, rookie Zack Schilawski looked eager to try to create opportunities happen, but he frequently lacked support in the attack.
New England opened the second half with a substitution, inserting Edgaras Jankauskas at forward to complement Schilawski in the attack. Jankauskas in his first season in MLS, with stints at FC Porto, Real Sociedad and Benfica on his resume, has yet to find his stride in New England this season.
In the 49th minute, Padilla received a Kljestan pass in the box and efficiently finished the play with his second goal of the night. Though Padila, who has started in the midfield the last four games, had not figured much in the Chivas USA build ups, he calmly finished both of his opportunities.
The onslaught continued through the half. At the hour mark, Braun nearly made it a brace, only to be denied at the goal mouth by Cory Gibbs. The stop in play allowed Chivas USA to make their first substitution of the night as Marcelo Saragosa replaced Zemanski. Coach Martin Vasquez looked to solidify the defense, while getting Zemanski’s yellow card off of the pitch.
In this 61st minute, Pat Phelan gave New England their first shot on goal of the night with a long range shot from just left of the semi-circle that forced Thornton into action. New England though, could not build on the attack and surrendered possession to the Goats.
In the 81st minute, rookie Blair Gavin capped the scoring with a sensational shot over Burpo after shrugging off Phelan’s tackle. Moments later, Jankauskas went studs first into Blair Gavin and earned a yellow card. Jankauskas evidently took exception to Gavin’s celebration at such a late stage in a blowout.
The match closed a bitter month for the Revs as they are now winless in their last four matches. Chivas USA, meanwhile have to be more confident, even as they head home for their Saturday match against Houston, They have now brought their unbeaten streak to three games.
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