Home victory eludes Chivas USA

Chivas USA surrendered a late penalty kick to Carlos Ruiz as visiting FC Dallas pulled out a 3-1 victory at The Home Depot Center on Saturday night.

Ruiz, who played his home games in Southern California for the past three years for fellow HDC tenant Los Angeles Galaxy, slipped his spot kick past Chivas USA keeper Brad Guzan in the 85th minute.

But it was the play that led to the penalty kick which caused greater concern. Chivas USA defender Ryan Suarez, who drew the penalty kick after bringing down Ruiz inside the area, collided with Guzan. Suarez lay motionless on the field for several minutes after being taken off on a stretcher.

Chivas USA remained winless on the season, with two losses and one draw, despite scoring its first home goal. The club again controlled much of the possession but did not generate many scoring chances.

It took just five minutes for Chivas USA to pick up its first yellow card of the match. Jesus Ochoa, who started at midfield in place of Aaron Lopez, was booked after a hard challenge on FC Dallas fullback David Wagenfuhr. Ochoa was the lone change from last week's lineup against San Jose.

Hector Cuadros had Chivas USA's first scoring chance of the night in the ninth minute. Thiago Martins flicked a header from the top of the penalty box onto Cuadros' path. Cuadros chipped his 8-yard shot from the left side of the box well wide of the FC Dallas goal.

For most of the opening quarter-hour, Chivas USA controlled possession. The Red-and-White had three corner kicks in that span while FC Dallas hardly put any pressure on Chivas USA's defense. FC Dallas did not have a corner kick until the 17th minute, an attempt that Guzan plucked out of mid-air.

Guzan made his first save in the 18th minute when O'Brien broke into the area and fired a shot on goal. Guzan dived to his left and made the save.

Then FC Dallas was the first to break through. In the 40th minute, Ronnie O'Brien unleashed a 35-yard shot that bended and curved its way into the top left corner of the net.

But not four minutes later, Martins leveled the score. Martins powered a header off a Ramon Ramirez cross past FC Dallas 'keeper Garlick from five yards out. The goal, the first goal scored by the Red-and-White at the HDC, touched off a frenzied celebration, punctuated by Chivas USA's passionate and vocal fan club, Legion 1908, whose members raced up and down their section's bleachers in typical Latin American style.

Francisco Mendoza, who sparked Chivas USA's offense as a substitute in the season opener, came on for Ochoa in the 55th minute as Chivas USA went to more of an attacking formation. Mendoza scored in the club's reserve
match a week ago.

Ezra Hendrickson nearly collected an assist in the 72nd minute but his cross intended for Mendoza was grabbed by Garlick moments before Mendoza could put a head on it.

In the 78th minute, Ruiz drew a penalty after he was brought down by Suarez in the area. But as Ruiz fell, Suarez did as well and had a freak collision with Guzan. Suarez lay motionless on the field as medical personnel tended to him for nearly five minutes. He was carried off the field on a stretcher in the 83rd minute.

With Chivas USA pushing forward for a late equalizer, FC Dallas struck for the last time. Johnson easily headed a shot past a charging Guzan from 18 yards out after O'Brien swung in the cross from the right flank.

MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Ronnie O'Brien (FC Dallas)

Luis Bueno is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

FC Dallas (2-0-1) vs. CD Chivas USA (0-2-1)

April 16, 2005 -- The Home Depot Center

Scoring Summary:

DAL -- Ronnie O'Brien 1 (unassisted) 40

CHV -- Thiago Martins 2 (Ramon Ramirez 1) 44

DAL -- Carlos Ruiz 1 (penalty kick) 85

DAL -- Eddie Johnson 2 (Ronnie O'Brien 2) 94+

FC Dallas -- Scott Garlick, Clarence Goodson, Greg Vanney, David Wagenfuhr, Richard Mulrooney, Carey Talley, Ronnie O'Brien, Simo Valakari, Eddie Johnson, Bobby Rhine, Carlos Ruiz (Oscar Pareja 89).

Substitutes Not Used: Jeff Cassar, Drew Moor, Ramon Nunez, Abe Thompson.

TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Eddie Johnson 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Eddie Johnson 3); FOULS: 11 (Simo Valakari 4); OFFSIDES: 1 (Carlos Ruiz 1); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Richard Mulrooney 6); SAVES: 1 (Scott Garlick 1)

CD Chivas USA -- Brad Guzan, Ezra Hendrickson, Douglas Sequeira, Ryan Suarez (Isaac Romo 84), Orlando Perez, Jesus Ochoa (Francisco Mendoza 55), Hector Cuadros, Ramon Ramirez, Arturo Torres, Thiago Martins, Matt Taylor (Antonio Martinez 71).

Substitutes Not Used: Victor Arbelaez, Javier Barragan, Milton Blanco, Alfonso Loera, Aaron Lopez, Mike Munoz.

TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (Hector Cuadros 2, Thiago Martins 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Thiago Martins 2); FOULS: 15 (Thiago Martins 6); OFFSIDES: 2 (Douglas Sequeira 2); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Ramon Ramirez 7); SAVES: 3 (Brad Guzan 3)

Misconduct Summary:

CHV -- Jesus Ochoa (caution; Tackle from Behind) 5

DAL -- Ronnie O'Brien (caution; Pushing, Holding) 66

CHV -- Ryan Suarez (caution; Pushing, Holding) 78

CHV -- Ezra Hendrickson (caution; Reckless Foul) 90

Referee: Ricardo Valenzuela
Referee's Assistants: -Steven Davidson; Fabio Tovar
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
Attendance: 12,697
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Clear-and-70-degrees

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.


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