CARSON, Calif. — Chivas USA have been desperate for their first win at home and despite a near-dominant performance against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night, the Rojiblancos will need to continue to wait.
From the outset, Chivas controlled long stretches of the match as the Union sat back and looked to absorb pressure early from the Rojiblancos’ offense. But a defensive breakdown in the 40th minute, which led to Freddy Adu’s match-winning goal, resigned Chivas to yet another 1-0 home defeat.
WATCH: CHV-PHI highlights
“We gave up a goal out of nothing,” head coach Robin Fraser said after the Rojiblancos’ fourth straight defeat at home in 2012. “In the second half, we were better, more aggressive and got the ball into more dangerous spots. [But] I feel like this is definitely one that got away.”
Statistics surely back up Fraser’s claim as the Rojiblancos outpossessed Philly 66.3% to 33.7%. Possession was not the only indicator of Chivas’ strength: They had 21 attempts on goal to Philadelphia’s four. The finest such attempt coming in the 56th minute when Blair Gavin’s shot from 28 yards forced a diving save from Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
Two late red cards saw the Union finish the match with nine men. In the 75th minute, referee Juan Guzman showed Keon Daniel a straight red for a rash tackle on Ryan Smith, and 10 minutes later, Gabriel Farfan was sent off for a late challenge on James Riley that split the shin guard of the veteran defender in half.
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Chivas pushed forward in search of an equalizer, creating several chances — including a Gavin shot from outside the box that forced another MacMath stop — but could not find the tying goal.
“We did a good job of getting the ball into wide areas, we got dangerous service in and we were knocking on the door,” Fraser said, “but at the end of the day you don’t finish your chances and you end up feeling [disappointed].”
Despite the loss, Fraser will not be disappointed to welcome back forward Juan Pablo Angel, who returned after a lengthy bout with concussion symptoms. Still shaking off the rust, Angel struggled to finish despite numerous opportunities at goal, including a pinpoint cross from Miller Bolaños that he headed wide in the 65th minute of play.
Although Angel was unable to score in his first match back from injury, the veteran Colombian forward felt that there were building blocks for Chivas to use looking ahead to next week’s match against the Colorado Rapids.
“It’s hard to take positives when you lose, but there were lot of things that happened today that gave us encouragement for the following games,” said Angel. “We created chances in the second half that we haven’t managed to create at home. We looked more dangerous and were putting more people in the box. But it’s still extremely disappointing to not earn a point at home.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.