Recap: Chivas-Vancouver ends in scoreless draw

The Red-and-White will now prepare to face Seattle in the US Open Cup semifinal on Tuesday

James Riley Vancouver

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CARSON, Calif. – Joe Cannon made four saves and earned his league-leading eighth clean sheet of the year as the Vancouver Whitecaps and Chivas USA played to a scoreless draw on Saturday night at The Home Depot Center in a match that saw six yellow cards handed out by head official Juan Guzman.

While the Whitecaps made just one change to the squad that defeated the Colorado Rapids in midweek with the suspended Darren Mattocks replaced by Sébastien Le Toux, the Rojiblancos began the match with three notable absences in Juan Agudelo (knee injury), Oswaldo Minda (suspension) and Ante Jazic (rest).

With Chivas playing their first match in 10 days and Vancouver taking the field on three days’ rest, the match got off to a slow start from the outset. From the get go, both teams came out in an organized midfield that suffocated attacks.

As the first half wore on, the game grew physical with the most dangerous moment coming in the 30th minute when a sliding tackle by Vancouver defender Martín Bonjour placed Chivas forward José Erik Correa on the ground for several minutes, but he was eventually able to continue. The chippy play led to the game’s first yellow card in the 45th minute as Chivas midfielder Nick LaBrocca earned a caution for dissent.

In hopes of sparking an attack, Chivas head coach Robin Fraser inserted winger Ryan Smith into the lineup for Laurent Courtois. But the Frenchman added little as the match became steadily more physical with Rauwshan McKenzie and Eric Hassli picking up yellow cards in the 63rd and 64th minute, respectively.  With the booking, Hassli will be suspended for the club’s match on July 11 against Toronto FC due to yellow-card accumulation.

Martin Rennie made his own change in hopes of creating offense in the 68th minute, bringing on Camilo to replace the ineffective Hassli.  Moments later, Bonjour earned a yellow for a foul on Paolo Cardozo that set up a free kick from the edge of the box.

On the ensuing free kick, Juan Pablo Ángel launched shot that was bobbled by Cannon, setting up a scramble in front of the Vancouver net that was eventually cleared out. Moments later, Cannon was forced to come up big again as he made a diving save on a Cardozo free kick to the right of the box.

Not to be outdone, Vancouver had their best opportunity of the night in the 77th minute when a Bryan Robson corner was headed just wide of the net by Camilo. The yellow cards kept coming as the match winded down, as Gershon Koffie picked up a booking for a foul on Ben Zemanski.

With the clock winding down, Chivas USA threw numbers forward and nearly tallied in the 88th minute when a James Riley cross fell perfectly for Zemanski just inches away from goal, but the midfielder fired his shot just wide. Two minutes later, Chivas again tested Cannon again as the Whitecaps goalkeeper made a pair of saves to stop a scramble in the box and preserve the point for the visitors.

Chivas USA return to action on July 11 for their US Open Cup semifinal against the Seattle Sounders at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash. That same night, the Whitecaps travel to Ontario to take on TFC at BMO Field.