VANCOUVER, B.C. – Erick “Cubo” Torres made it five straight games with a goal as Chivas USA punished the Vancouver Whitecaps for not taking their chances in a 3-1 victory at BC Place on Saturday evening.
It had been a tale of two corners up to that point as Chivas’ Agustin Pelletieri's header two minutes into the second half cancelled out Carlyle Mitchell's headed opener for the Whitecaps in the first half.
The game turned when Vancouver's Jordan Harvey received a straight red in the 69th minute. Torres struck with nine minutes remaining and Leandro Barrera made sure of a Chivas win with a third in stoppage time as Whitecaps' goalkeeper David Ousted was caught up field for a corner.
The win moves Chivas USA (6-7-5) on to 23 points, closing the gap on Vancouver to two points in the process. The Whitecaps (6-4-7) remain in that fifth and final playoff spot on 25 points, and remain 10 points behind leaders Seattle.
Both teams carried play in the opening minutes, and the hot and humid conditions didn't seem to prevent either side from playing their attacking style.
Vancouver got the breakthrough in the 27th minute. Pedro Morales sent a pinpoint delivery from a corner into the box and Mitchell made a move to get on the unseen side of Eriq Zavaleta to head home low through the legs of Dan Kennedy.
Chivas started the second half with more purpose and got themselves level just two minutes in when Pelletieri rose unchallenged to head home a Mauro Rosales corner from the left.
The visitors were reinvigorated by the goal, and Vancouver's job was made more difficult when Harvey saw a straight red for a two-footed tackle on Oswlado Minda.
Despite going a man down, substitutes Nigel Reo-Coker and Darren Mattocks had chances to give Vancouver back the lead but their final touches were left wanting more. They were punished when Marco Delgado made the most of Harvey's absence and sent in a ball to the back post, which Torres headed past Ousted for his 13th goal of the season.
Vancouver thought they had claimed a point when Morales kicked the ball over the goal line, but was adjudged to have fouled Kennedy in the process.
Vancouver now take to the road for their next two games, with Toronto FC first up on Wednesday in a Canadian derby, before they play Real Salt Lake next Saturday. Chivas USA will now head east to take on DC United in the middle of a three-game road trip next Sunday.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Erick Torres||There's nobody on better form in MLS than Torres, bagging another late winner for his fifth goal in the last five games|
|2||Mauro Rosales||Assisted on first two goals, jump starting the Chivas attack in the second half|
|3||Pedro Morales||Was pin-point in his service all night|