Fantastic five: Chivas USA topple RSL
It was a long time coming, but Chivas USA ensured their second victory was worth the wait. Matt Taylor scored a goal, set up two and created another two as Chivas USA demolished Real Salt Lake 5-1 at The Home Depot Center on Saturday.
Real Salt Lake got Chivas started with a fourth-minute own goal, but the Red-and-White took care of the rest on its own. Hector Cuadros, Antonio Martinez, Taylor and Isaac Romo each scored a goal in the rout.
The five goals easily set a franchise-high; also, it was the first time Chivas led by more than one goal all season. Also, it was only the third time this season a team has scored five goals; the other two times Chivas was on the wrong end of the scoreline.
It did not take long for Chivas to jumpstart its attack. In the opening 30 seconds, Chivas pushed into Real Salt Lake's penalty area and won a corner. Even though that possession bore no fruit, the pressure and intensity paid off minutes later.
In the fourth minute, RSL keeper D.J. Countess punched a cross to the top of the penalty area. Taylor jumped on the loose ball, dribbled to his left around a pair of Real defenders and with Countess off his line fired the ball into a pack of players in front of the goal. The ball struck RSL defender Brian Kamler's leg and trickled past the goal line.
Taylor continued to be dangerous. In the 12th minute, he took a cross off his chest, settled and shot on Countess but the ball sailed wide of the goal. A minute later, Esteban Arias unleashed a 25-yard shot that missed the left post by inches.
Chivas' pressure again paid off in the 16th minute. Taylor sent a precise pass onto the path of Thiago Martins, but before he could control the ball, RSL defender Cameron Knowles dragged him down and was called for a penalty kick. Hector Cuadros converted the spot kick to give Chivas a 2-0 lead, the first time Chivas had led by two goals all season.
But Clint Mathis pulled one back less than 10 minutes later. Mathis struck a 21-yard free kick that got past the wall, banged off the left post and rolled into the net. Chivas 'keeper Brad Guzan dived but the ball was just inches out of his reach.
Chivas nearly received another gift from Real Salt Lake in the 35th minute. Chivas' Antonio Martinez sent a cross into the area for Taylor, but Countess got to the ball first and tried to clear it. Instead, the ball caromed off Matt Behncke and headed toward the empty net, but Behncke scrambled back in time and cleared the ball off the line.
Chivas USA was dealt a blow when Ramon Ramirez was booked in the 38th minute. The Red-and-White's skipper will miss next week's Super Clasico against the Galaxy due to accumulation of discipline points.
In the last five minutes of the first half, Chivas nearly doubled its lead. First, Martins misfired a header after beating Countess to the far post in the 41st minute. Two minutes later, Francisco Mendoza surprised Countess with a 10-yard blast from the left of the area, but Countess' reacted quickly and pushed the ball out of bounds. On the ensuing corner kick, Ezra Hendrickson's 15-yard header landed on top of the net.
Taylor and Martins nearly connected again for a goal in the 51st minute. Taylor broke inside the area and fed Martins whose shot was saved by Countess. The ball rolled toward Martins, but an RSL defender cleared the ball out of bounds.
Minutes later, it was Taylor again working magic, this time with Martinez. Taylor took the ball near the sideline, just in front of the Chivas bench. Taylor spun and carried the ball to the top of the restraining arc. He fed Martinez who was wide open on the left flank. Martinez ran inside the area and unloaded a shot that beat Countess and nestled into the back corner of the net in the 53rd minute.
Two minutes later, it was Taylor's took the spotlight for himself. Cuadros took a pass from Martinez and sent it forward to Taylor. The former UCLA standout buried the shot past Countess for his second goal of the season.
In the 83rd minute, Chivas capped the masterpiece. Romo, who came on earlier for Martins, took a pass from Taylor and coolly buried the ball in the net.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Matt Taylor (Chivas USA)
Luis Bueno is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
Real Salt Lake (3-10-4) vs. Chivas USA (2-13-3)
July 09, 2005 -- The Home Depot Center
CHV -- own goal (Brian Kamler) 4
CHV -- Hector Cuadros 4 (penalty kick) 16
RSL -- Clint Mathis 1 (unassisted) 23
CHV -- Antonio Martinez 2 (Matt Taylor 1) 53
CHV -- Matt Taylor 2 (Hector Cuadros 4, Antonio Martinez 2) 55
CHV -- Isaac Romo 3 (Matt Taylor 2) 83
Real Salt Lake -- D.J. Countess, Brian Kamler, Matt Behncke (Leslie Fitzpatrick 63), Cameron Knowles, Nelson Akwari, Seth Trembly, Kenny Cutler, Clint Mathis, Chris Brown (Dipsy Selolwane 71), Jamie Watson (Dante Washington 77), Jason Kreis.
Substitutes Not Used: Jay Nolly, Leighton O'Brien.
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Jason Kreis 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 20 (Seth Trembly 4); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 1 (Clint Mathis 1); SAVES: 7 (D.J. Countess 6)
Chivas USA -- Brad Guzan, Armando Begines, Ezra Hendrickson, Esteban Arias (Alfonso Loera 68), Francisco Gomez, Francisco Mendoza, Ramon Ramirez, Hector Cuadros, Antonio Martinez, Thiago Martins (Isaac Romo 71), Matt Taylor.
Substitutes Not Used: Victor Arbelaez, Javier Barragan, Milton Blanco, Jesus Ochoa, Arturo Torres.
TOTAL SHOTS: 24 (Isaac Romo 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 11 (Antonio Martinez 3); FOULS: 16 (Matt Taylor 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 9 (Antonio Martinez 7); SAVES: 2 (Brad Guzan 2)
RSL -- Cameron Knowles (caution; Pushing, Holding) 16
CHV -- Ramon Ramirez (caution; Game Disrepute) 38
CHV -- Thiago Martins (caution; Professional Foul) 57
RSL -- Brian Kamler (caution; Pushing, Holding) 74
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Referee's Assistants: -Fabio Tovar; Emiliano Monje
4th Official: Ramon Hernandez
Time of Game: 1:49
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.