CARSON, Calif. – Deshorn Brown capitalized on an early penalty-kick opportunity, while Chivas USA squandered one of their own, and the Colorado Rapids upended their hosts, 1-0 Saturday night at the Home Depot Center.
The Rapids continued their recent mastery of Chivas USA, earning their seventh win in nine matches against their Western Conference rivals.
Brown cashed in a penalty in the seventh minute after Eric Avila brought him down just inside the area, badly fooling goalkeeper Dan Kennedy to give the Rapids the goal advantage. Chivas USA got their chance to draw even later in the first half, but José Correa’s penalty shot bounced off the crossbar.
A wide-open style of play created numerous scoring chances for both sides, but Kennedy came up with a handful of big saves for the Rojiblancos. Laurent Courtois twice sailed shots over the crossbar, while Carlos Alvarez did the same by misfiring from point-blank range in the 72nd minute in what proved to be the best push for the home team.
Chivas USA (3-2-1), who had been riding a four-game unbeaten streak and sat near the top of the conference standings, defeated Colorado, 3-0, in a February preseason match in Las Vegas. Yet the Rapids (2-3-2), coming off their first win of the season, held strong Saturday thanks to goalkeeper Clint Irwin, who posted his second consecutive shutout.
The match marked the return of midfielder Nick LaBrocca to the grounds of his former team, which shipped him to acquire Avila in the offseason. LaBrocca, who assisted on the game-winning goal against Real Salt Lake the previous week, was subbed out at halftime as he dealt with a nagging groin injury.
Chivas USA midfielder Daniel Antunez, making his first career MLS start, was carried off in the 30th minute with an apparent left knee injury. It was the latest incident for a squad that has been hit with the injury bug lately. Forward Juan Agudelo (hamstring) was not in the starting lineup Saturday but entered as a substitute in the 58th minute wearing a visible white bandage over his left thigh.
The clubs meet again on May 25 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and Aug. 11 at the Home Depot Center. Chivas USA hit the road next week for a match at Real Salt Lake on April 20, while Colorado host the Seattle Sounders that same night.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Clint Irwin (COL)||Backup GK didn't make many saves, much, but he won mind game vs. Correa when it mattered most.|
|2||Dan Kennedy (CHV)||Handful of quality stops in what could've been a much bigger loss. Aren't we getting tired of this line?|
|3||Deshorn Brown (COL)||Big Jamaican rookie was a handful for Chivas' overpowered backline and is becoming more of a threat.|