Hope shines in Chivas USA draw

Chivas USA earned their second point away from The Home Depot Center and newcomers Juan Francisco Palencia and Juan Pablo Garcia both scored in their debuts Sunday night against the MetroStars.

It should have been a positive outcome for an expansion side that had just 12 points out of its first 23 games. But the 3-3 draw with the MetroStars at Giants Stadium felt more like the team's 18th loss than its fourth tie.

Amado Guevara brought the hosts back from a 3-1 halftime deficit, netting a hat trick -- including a brilliant curling shot in the fourth minute of stoppage time -- to give the hosts a much-needed point.

"For me and for the team it was a good result, but it doesn't feel like a positive," Palencia said. "I think we should have won because we were winning at the half. In the second half we didn't perform as well."

Palencia made the most of his debut, scoring a pair of goals in the opening 22 minutes, bringing Chivas back from an early 1-0 deficit courtesy of Guevara's fifth-minute penalty kick for the Metros.

In the 17th minute, the fiery striker nicknamed Paco knocked in Douglas Sequeira's flick of an Orlando Perez corner for his first MLS goal. Five minutes later Palencia picked up Ryan Suarez's attempted sliding clearance near the top of the box and beat Tony Meola from 22 yards out.

Not to be outdone by Palencia, Garcia scored his first MLS goal in the 39th minute, when he took a feed from Arturo Torres and lofted it over Meola's right shoulder.

"It's good for us," Chivas coach Hans Westerhof said of the play of his two newcomers. "(Palencia) is clever and he can keep the ball and with Juan Pablo make a good combination."

But then led by Guevara, the MetroStars roared back. The Honduran international scored his second penalty kick in the 69th minute after referee Michael Kennedy ruled Garcia took down Eddie Gaven in the box. It was the second penalty that Gaven drew; the first was when he was tripped by Ramon Ramirez. And it's also the first time in MetroStars history the club scored twice from the spot in a single game.

As he did the first time, Guevara slotted the ball low and to the left of Guzan. And Guevara capped a frantic and feisty final 10 minutes -- in which four of the game's seven bookings were called -- with a goal that might have just saved the MetroStars season.

Youri Djorkaeff lined up to take a free kick from 27 yards out but faked the shot and slotted the ball to his left where he found an unmarked Guevara.

And in the fourth minute of five added minutes Guevara scored his team-leading eighth goal of the year, curling the ball inside the far post for the dramatic equalizer.

"I didn't like (the refereeing) because of the way the fouls were called and he added five minutes on and I don't think it was that much added," Palencia said. "The league has improved over 10 years and the refereeing also needs to improve along the same lines."

It was a tough night for Guzan, who made five saves and did enough to give Chivas a win.

"Two penalties and free kick," Westerhof said. "It's not his fault."

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


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