It was déjà vu, all over again for Chivas USA against the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium as late goal once again forced the Goats to leave points on the table.
The Rojiblancos notched an early goal, but for the third straight week, a goal in the final 10 minutes of the contest cost them points as they drew the Earthquakes, 1-1. Despite Gordon’s late goal, Chivas USA have now taken 10 of 15 possible points away from the Home Depot Center heading into next week’s SuperClásico match against the LA Galaxy.
HIGHLIGHTS: SJ 1, CHV 1
But after conceding a late goal yet again, head coach Robin Fraser was looking for an answer on how to solve his club’s late game woes.
“Part of that is how we manage a game,” Fraser told MLSsoccer.com after the draw. “If we do a better job of managing the game and ending the game on a little bit more on our terms then it does look quite our way. But when you’re hanging on at the end then it’s difficult.”
Although the match ended poorly for Chivas, the game began with a spark as new Colombian signing José Erik Correa received his first start in favor of countryman Juan Pablo Ángel and immediately proved up to the challenge scoring his first goal putting the club up in the fourth minute of play.
The chance was created by midfielder Miller Bolaños, who muscled past a defender to head the ball to a streaking James Riley, who fired in the cross that Correa finished past Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch.
“It was a great debut for him, obviously he made a good run and got into a good spot and finished it,” said Fraser. “As a young player that is coming into a new league, what a way for him to start.”
But after Correa’s goal, San Jose quickly began to assert control over the match, creating numerous opportunities forcing goalkeeper Dan Kennedy to make a total of five saves before the night was done. As San Jose pushed forward, the nerviest moment came in the 73rd minute when the Earthquakes had numerous looks in the Rojiblancos’ box, but last-ditch defending and a save from Kennedy prevented San Jose from finding their equalizer.
The three points appeared to be there for the taking until the 88th minute when Gordon headed in a Sam Garza cross at the near post, beating Kennedy to steal a point for San Jose. Although the club was able to earn a late point, Riley admitted that the effort was not quite good enough on the night.
“We can’t ask ourselves to defend for 80 minutes, anytime you do that, teams are going to get chances,” Riley told MLSsoccer.com. “I thought that we did dealt with it admirably, but you’re not going to be able to put out every fire so the thing is to not have to put ourselves in situations like that where we’re asked to put out fires every time — and critical fires at that.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.