Chivas USA Blasts San Jose

Goats get their second win at home

Chivas USA
got back to winning ways on Saturday evening, holding off a late push from the
visiting San Jose Earthquakes for a 3-2 victory at The Home Depot Center. Goals
from Sacha Kljestan, Justin Braun, and Chukwudi Chijindu were the difference as
the Red-and-White claimed their second consecutive win at home.

For Chivas USA,
Saturday’s match marks the first time that the team has scored more than two
goals in a game since October 4th of 2008. For the visitors, it was
the second time in just four games that the Quakes conceded three goals.

Much of the Goats’ success on Saturday came from the middle
of the pitch. The Chivas USA midfield was masterful all evening, employing a
rotating offense that, at times, resembled the famous Dutch “Total Football” of
the 1970’s. Red-and-White attackers Padilla, Kljestan, Zemanski, Lahoud, and
Gavin interchanged effortlessly, communicating well as they followed the flow
of play.

It was Kljestan who found the back of the net first, and
rightfully so. The Chivas USA captain had marshaled his young midfield well and
looked dangerous all night. If ever there were a game for Klejstan to stake a
claim to a place on the US National Team World Cup roster, this was it.

His goal came in the 25th minute when he
collected a neat pass from Gavin on the right side and blasted a Howitzer from
20 yards out. The effort sailed over Quakes ‘keeper Joe Cannon and dipped into
the net to take the home side ahead 1-0.

San Jose
would equalize just before halftime with a 41st minute penalty kick.
It was Chris Wondolowski who netted from the spot for the visitors, slotting a
low ball into the left-hand corner of the net after he was taken down in the
box by Jonathan Bornstein.

Any momentum that the Quakes had going into the second half
was quickly squelched by Justin Braun in the 54th minute. The big Red-and-White
striker got onto the end of an incisive cross from Mariano Trujillo to head the
ball past a diving Joe Cannon and into the far left side of the net. It was
Braun’s fourth consecutive goal against the Earthquakes.

Red-and-White substitute striker Chukwudi Chijindu added a
third notch in the 88th minute after collecting a long pass from Michael
Lahoud and outpacing Ike Opara. The SoCal native calmly slipped the ball under
Joe Cannon, who had charged off his line.

The Quakes swarmed in the game’s closing minutes, getting a
goal of their own in the 92nd minute when defender Steven Beitashour
hit a speculative shot from beyond the 18-yard-line that sailed over the Chivas
USA defense but dipped under the bar at the last moment.  

Chivas USA
will feel confident heading into their match at Chicago next Saturday. The team looks to have
finally found some of the chemistry that had been missing in its first few
matches. San Jose, meanwhile, will now return
home to face Colorado
next weekend.