CARSON, Calif. — One of the most glaring issues for Chivas USA throughout the season has been their tendency to concede early goals, but in their 3-0 victory over Toronto FC, at long last, it was Chivas that blasted out of the gate.
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Pressing Toronto from the outset, the Rojiblancos got themselves an early goal when Juan Pablo Angel scored his first of two goals on the night in the 12th minute of play. The goal was the first time that Chivas USA had scored first in a match since their last victory – which came more than a month prior on August 8 against the New England Revolution.
Previous to Saturday’s result, inconsistent play over 90 minutes had doomed Chivas. Against Toronto, the Goats were eager to show that they still had a lot of fight left in them.
“We were fired up today, we had a point to prove. We hadn’t been playing the best as of late,” said defender Andrew Boyens, who made his first start since late May. “We’ve had spells of really good football, but at times we hadn’t played well enough.”
The momentum that Chivas got from Angel’s goal continued throughout the first half as their attack consistently peppered TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei with shots. As has been the case throughout the season the Rojiblancos had their lulls, but they were able to weather a Toronto onslaught before Justin Braun’s goal in the 71st provided for some breathing room.
The exclamation point was put on their impressive display in the 77th minute when Angel added his second. For a team that had been struggling as of late, the performance was a breath of fresh air.
“The last four or five games have been very difficult, but it’s only because we put ourselves in very difficult situations at the beginning of the games by conceding goals that we shouldn’t concede and by just being sloppy,” said Angel. “We’ve got to be able to have more consistency throughout games, but today was about getting the three points and giving it a good try again.”
Chivas find themselves four points out of playoff contention with just three matches left in the season. With the remaining matches at Home Depot Center, the onus is on the club to again minimize their mistakes in order to turn their playoff dreams into a reality.
“We’ve seen in the past where we’ve played well in spurts and played poorly in spurts, it’s been hard to get ourselves out of that,” said head coach Robin Fraser. “To have a performance where we started well and finished well is a great thing for our confidence going forward.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @adamserrano