CARSON, Calif. – The math was simple for Chivas USA in their 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact.
Two substitutions plus one late goal equaled three points for the Rojiblancos as they earned just their second home win of the season on Wednesday against the expansion side.
With the Montreal beginning to take charge of the match after a pair of offensive substitutions, Chivas head coach Robin Fraser countered with a pair of subs of his own in the 78th minute, inserting Juan Pablo Ángel and Jorge Villafaña in place of Paolo Cardozo and Cesar Romero.
And just four minutes later the pair combined for the winning goal when Villafaña blew past defender Zarek Valentin before launching a cross into the box that Angel easily nodded past Donovan Ricketts. Following the match, Fraser admitted that his substitutions went exactly as he had planned.
“One of the things that Jorge has been working on for the last year is crossing and he’s become a very good and consistent crosser, so the idea for him was to find crossing opportunities,” Fraser said of his sideline instructions. “With Juan, there were a couple of defensive thoughts, but certainly with him it’s about finding good spaces in the box and when he gets the delivery, he scores. He got a fantastic delivery from Jorge tonight and certainly did very well.”
After a dismal showing last week in their 3-0 defeat against Real Salt Lake, the Rojiblancos were pleased with the way that they rebounded against Montreal.
“We saw intelligent work; we saw good decisions with the ball which are things that you have to do,” said Fraser. “We talked about execution on Saturday night and I thought how we executed in the last ten minutes of the game or so were definitely a step forward for us. I thought our decisions on the ball were good, our work rate was not to be questioned and I was very proud with the way that we finished the half.”
With the three points in hand, the Rojiblancos were quick to praise their head coach after an important victory.
“That’s what you call a coaching win,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy told reporters after the game. “When the coach makes a big decision like that and [it pays] immediate rewards, that’s phenomenal.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org