Tied-up at The Home Depot Center
Chivas USAs six-game losing streak came to an end on
Saturday evening as the Goats earned a well-fought 1-1 draw with the visiting
Philadelphia Union. Danny Mwanga put the visitors in front with a cheeky
chipped goal in the 21st minute, but the Red-and-white fought back
and found an equalizer by way of Blair Gavin just before halftime to salvage a
point in Los Angeles.
The draw is Philadelphias
first-ever away from home and just the teams fourth point on the road since
their inaugural season began. Chivas USA, meanwhile, maintains a perfect
unbeaten record in first meetings with expansion clubs and earns the clubs
first league points since May 5th.
Inspired, perhaps, by the pace and intensity of the World
Cup quarterfinal matches that morning, Saturday evenings game started at full
throttle and stayed that way for most of the first half. It was Philadelphia who got out of the gate fastest, christening
its first visit to Chivas USA
with a goal in the 21st minute.
The play started in the midfield, where Sebastian Le Toux
collected a loose ball and threaded a neat pass into Danny Mwanga at the top of
the Red-and-White area. Chivas USA
goalkeeper Zach Thornton charged off his line to smother Mwangas breakaway,
but the young rookie calmly chipped over Thorntons
head for a 1-0 lead and his fifth goal of the year.
The Goats finally started waking up around the half-hour
mark. Lead by inspired attacking play from team captain Jonathan Bornstein, who
started in front of Ante Jazic at left midfield, Chivas USA maintained good possession and peppered
the Union goal from all directions.
A breakthrough for the home side arrived just before
halftime, with rookie Blair Gavin finally giving the Home Depot Center crowd a reason to cheer. Mariano
Trujillo was the architect of the play, chipping a good cross into the Union
area from the right flank that first took a bounce off Justin Brauns head before
finally landed at the feet of Philly defender Cristian Arrieta. Arrieta tried
to clear, but Gavin intercepted his effort and blasted a skittering shot along
the ground that found the lower right corner of Chris Seitzs net for a 1-1
scoreline heading into the locker rooms.
The first twenty-five minutes of the second half saw Philadelphia regain firm
control of the tempo of the game. Chivas USA struggled to keep up with the
quick passing of Union midfielders Fred and Michael Orozco and spent much of
the time on their heels. Fred nearly doubled the visitors lead in the 65th
minute when a long pass from Le Toux sprung him for a breakaway, but Thornton made no mistake
charging off his line for a sprawling save.
The Red-and-White pushed back in the games final
quarter-hour, but failed to find a way through Philadelphias resolute defense. While the
Goats will feel they should have earned a draw, the team will be happy to break
out of its club-record losing streak ahead of a tough road match at Kansas City next weekend.
The Union will now return home to face San
Jose next Saturday.