Chivas USA lament inability to close out games after latest demoralizing second-half collapse

Another late-game collapse cost Chivas USA a point Friday night, leaving head coach José Luis “Guero” Real to explain how the Goats coughed up a rare lead in the 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park.

For the third time in four matches, Chivas USA were unable to close out an opponent and, this time, the costly mistake snapped their three-game unbeaten streak. The Goats had managed to pick up a point in the two previous matches in their 10-day, three-city road trip, but they left Philadelphia with none after giving up three unanswered goals in the second half of a game played in monsoon-like conditions.

“It’s related to the lack of confidence when you don’t win,” Real told reporters after the game when discussing his club's collapses. “Logically, it takes more to maintain the same intensity for 90 minutes. We’re good for 60, 70 and 80 minutes, but we’ve got to solve that issue.”

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Josue Soto was issued his second yellow card in the 79th minute when the Rojiblancos were tangled in a 1-1 match, and Michael Farfan immediately capitalized on the questionable illegal backward pass referee Jorge Gonzalez called by scoring the go-ahead goal on the ensuing indirect free kick. It was an all too familiar scene for Chivas USA.

On June 29 against the New England Revolution, Chivas USA squandered a 1-0 lead in the 88th minute and settled for a tie. The same thing occurred last week against the Montreal Impact, when the Goats surrendered a goal in the 80th minute in another 1-1 draw. On Friday, they spoiled a 14th-minute goal from Jose Correa.

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“For me, it’s not easy to talk about the final result because Chivas USA, for 70 minutes, was very good,” said Real. “For the last 20 minutes, Philadelphia did very well. We had a little bit of problems at the end of the game.”

The loss saw Chivas USA's winless streak extend to 14 games and, though Real labeled Gonzalez’s decision to call an illegal backward pass against goalkeeper Dan Kennedy as a “big surprise,” the head coach did not criticize the referees. 

“We committed errors and the officiating is an entirely different thing,” Real said. “I could talk about that, but I won’t because we committed mistakes. The most important thing is to talk about our team.”