A result appeared to be there for the taking for Chivas USA.
The Goats had clawed their way back from an early 2-0 deficit with two goals of their own by Juan Pablo Ángel and Nick LaBrocca just past the hour mark. Playing with confidence and with a man advantage, the Rojiblancos looked to have redeemed themselves until midfielder Laurent Courtois forced a pass which was intercepted by Chicago and ultimately resulted in the Fire’s game-winning goal and a 3-2 Chivas loss.
“We battled back because we were making it difficult for them to get to us, we were making good choices with the ball and we creating some dangerous things and suddenly we got away from that,” Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “Suddenly we got away from that and we were playing too many balls into tight spaces when we were a man up and there was no need for that.”
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
Although their loss of possession ultimately cost the Goats a point, for the third consecutive match—and sixth time this season—the Goats put themselves behind in the first 15 minutes of play. Chivas had again put themselves in a major hole.
“I thought we had moments today that were quite good but we had moments that were horrible as well,” Fraser told media at Toyota Park. “Good teams don’t have horrible moments. Good teams have great moments, good moments, maybe fair moments. But good teams don’t have horrible moments.”
A red card to Chicago’s Cory Gibbs provided a lifeline for the Rojiblancos, who took advantage with a quick flurry of goals between the 61st and 63rd minute. Chivas pressed ahead, but were failed again by a number of turnovers that allowed the Fire to stretch their back line and eventually score.
“At this point of the season, you’d think that we would not be making the same mistakes, but unfortunately that’s the case,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s just not good enough.”
Although their playoff hopes are now in tatters after their fourth consecutive loss, the Goats are still alive and will face a short turn around with a match against D.C. United on Wednesday, they understand that it’s time to be honest about how their season is going.
“If we do want to get into the playoffs, if we have any hope of getting into the playoffs we really, really need to be sharper, more focused all over the field for 90 minutes,” Fraser said.
Added Ángel: “We have to know we are competing for our lives and we are competing for the chance to make the playoffs. We are competing for our jobs. What has happened in the last couple of weeks has not been good enough and we have to be able to look at ourselves and find a solution within the group.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @adamserrano