BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – This time, there was no comeback needed for Chivas USA in a 4-1 win over the Chicago Fire on Sunday at Toyota Park.
The Goats scored opened the scoring for the first time this season when Edgar Mejía's 57th minute rocket found the back of the net, then Joaquín Velázquez scored the game winner a week after a phantom red card threatened to keep him out of Sunday's contest. A Juan Agudelo curler and an own-goal from Chicago’s Jalil Anibaba finished the day off.
The Fire knew they'd have chances against Chivas USA’s bend-but-don’t-break defense, and the opportunities came in bunches during the first half.
Wells Thompson almost put the Fire on the board in the 38th minute when he charged out of his right back spot to unleash a shot from outside the penalty area, which whistled by the post.
A minute later, Chris Rolfe broke through the Chivas defense just across midfield after Sherjill MacDonald sprung him through with a header, but his breakaway shot was saved by Dan Kennedy.
But it was a different story in the second half, as Chivas USA had the bulk of the chances.
Mejía broke a scoreless deadlock in the 57th minute when he collected a perfect layoff from Agudelo outside the box and drilled a shot past Paolo Tornaghi.
Patrick Nyarko leveled the score seven minutes later, Chicago’s first goal of the season, when Sherjill MacDonald found him wide open on right side of the box. The Ghanaian calmly slotted home the equalizer and the Fire's first goal of the season.
But things went pear-shaped for the Fire after MacDonald was subbed off minutes later, and their inability to hold the ball up top caught up to them. A quick Chivas counter led to a free kick 25 yards out, and Mejía found Velázquez on the back post in the 73rd minute for the eventual game-winner. The 37-year-old's header sailed over Tornaghi's head and into the side netting.
Jorge Villafaña picked out Agudelo on the break two minutes later, and the 20-year-old curled a shot off the inside of the far post and into the goal for his second of the season. Anibaba sealed the Fire's fate in the 89th minute when he knocked the ball into his own net off of a cross from José Correa.
Chivas USA now sit tied for second in the Western Conference after registering seven points in four games. The Goats will host Vancouver next weekend.
The Fire will be left to think about their third loss in four games during an off-week before hosting New York in two weeks.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Juan Agudelo (CHV)||He's come of age, and now plays the kind of complete No. 9's game that everyone hoped they would see when he first broke out in 2010.|
|2||Edgar Mejía (CHV)||Mejia generally kept a low profile during the game, but made two huge, game-changing plays. A goal and an assist gets you in our MotM rundown.|
|3||Dan Kennedy (CHV)||Played his usual strong 90 minutes, and put up his usual handful of highlight-reel saves. He's not just spectacular, he's consistent.|