Recap: Angel plays hero as Chivas USA beat Impact 2-1
CARSON, Calif. – Juan Pablo Angel scored his third goal of the season to give Chivas USA just their second home win of the year, a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact Wednesday night at the Home Depot Center.
Just minutes after coming on as a substitute, Angel headed in his 71st career goal to edge Chivas past the expansion side.
Pressuring from the outset, the Rojiblancos finally broke through in the 15th minute of play. A Cesar Romero corner kick found the boot of Juan Agudelo whose touch deflected off Alejandro Moreno’s thigh for the opening goal.
Chivas continued their offensive pressure in the 29th minute when Ben Zemanski launched a shot from 25 yards out that forced a fingertip save from Impact ‘keeper Donovan Ricketts.
That seemed to bring Montreal into the game, and they began tilting the field regularly as the first half wound down. Andrew Wenger and Felipe both had attempts pushed wide by Dan Kennedy in the 39th minute.
Three minutes later, Felipe would not be denied. Davy Arnaud dashed down the right flank before sending in a cross to the near post that Felipe coolly flicked past Kennedy. The wild finish to the first half continued as, just two minutes later, Zemanski forced another diving save from Ricketts with a shot from outside the box.
At the outset of the second half both clubs pressed ahead in search of the go-ahead goal. Chivas nearly got on the board for a second time when a pinball-esque passing sequence allowed Agudelo to get alone on the ‘keeper, but defender Shavar Thomas made a sliding tackle that prevented the forward from getting a chance on frame. Chivas continued the pressure just moments later when Moreno — with a Montreal defender on top of him – played the ball back for Romero, who launched a shot just wide of frame.
His club struggling to create chances, Impact head coach Jesse Marsch opted for a pair of offensive substitutions midway through the second half, bringing forward Justin Braun for Patrice Bernier in the 63rd and Sanna Nyassi for Wenger ten minutes later.
With the match stagnating, Fraser countered with a pair of subs of his own, inserting Angel and Jorge Villafaña in the 77th minute. Fraser’s substitutions paid off almost immediately when, in the 82nd minute Villafaña fired in a cross from the left side that Angel nodded past Ricketts.
In the 90th minute, Montreal nearly equalized when Nyassi launched shot from distance that forced a diving save from Kennedy. But that would be the Impact’s last gasp as the home side hung on.
With the win Chivas move to 5-7-3, with their 18 points good for sixth in the Western Conference. Montreal fall to 4-8-3, eighth in the East on 15 points.
Both teams return to action on Saturday as the Rojiblancos travel to Frisco, Texas to take on FC Dallas while the Impact head home to Stade Saputo to host the Houston Dynamo.