Chivas USA came to NorCal Sunday and took a shock early lead, but ended up drawing the San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 after a late goal by Alan Gordon. The result will probably come with mixed opinions, considering Chivas gave up a lead they had for 84 minutes, but San Jose dominated in possession and chances and honestly deserved a point. For Chivas, a point is also a good result, the method of getting it notwithstanding, as they were on a three-game losing streak and were playing one of the hottest teams in the league in San Jose.
New Chivas signing Jose Correa opened the scoring, and his MLS account, in the fourth minute. Miller Bolanos headed a ball down in midfield towards a streaking James Riley, who dribbled down the right flank before crossing to Correa. The goal was particularly impressive because both Riley and Correa were well-marked, but both players found enough space to get the goal.From there, Chivas basically conceded possession for the remainder of the match (more or less) and dared the Quakes to beat them. That seemed like an incredibly risky strategy considering the firepower on San Jose's side, but to their credit Chivas were able to stop both Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart. But when former Chivas player Gordon came on, it seemed his goal was inevitable, not because he is such an outstanding forward but because he has made a career out of scoring against his former clubs. Last season, he scored the equalizer against Chivas when he was playing for Toronto FC. Also, he elbowed Blair Gavin in the head about 10 minutes before his goal and could well see punishment for that act, which led me to believe he would almost certainly get a goal. The game just had that feel, honestly.
The problem coming out of this match, even if they escaped with a point, is that they have lost four points in the last three weeks on goals at the end of the match. In all, they have allowed five goals in the last 10 minutes of those last three matches - obviously a poor defensive record that will doom Chivas' hopes for significant improvement in 2012 if they continue down this path.
Still, although Correa impressed in his only chance of the game and hopefully he can get into a scoring rhythm, Dan Kennedy was unquestionably the man of the match yet again. He made several very important saves, and without him, Chivas would have almost certainly lost the match.
We'll have more observations on this match tomorrow. In the meantime, leave a comment and have your say on a draw that most likely feels like a loss.