The San Jose Earthquakes failed to figure out Chivas USA for the second time this season, the two teams settling for a 1-1 draw at The Home Depot Center on Sunday.
The sides traded goals in each half to square the result, Alejandro Moreno scoring for San Jose just before the break and Ezra Hendrickson equalizing for Chivas USA in the second draw in as many meetings between the clubs. With the draw, the Earthquakes remain in third place in the Western Conference, behind FC Dallas and the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Chivas USA controlled possession in the early going, the Earthquakes having difficulty gaining and keeping the ball in the middle third of the field.
Midfielders Dwayne De Rosario and Mark Chung were unable to spark any offensive attacks, with most of the balls sent to forwards Moreno and Ronald Cerritos being long passes that were cleared by Chivas USA's tall backline.
One run that did beat the Chivas defense came in the 22nd minute when Cerritos nearly gave the Earthquakes the early lead were it not for an impressive save by Chivas USA goalie Brad Guzan. Chung took advantage of a Chivas turnover and ran toward the goal with only one defender standing between him and Cerritos at the top of the 18-yard box. Chung capitalized on the two-on-one and passed right to Cerritos who struck a low ball that a sprawling Guzan knocked away with his right hand.
In the 40th minute Cerritos had another clear look at goal, and again Guzan spoiled the opportunity. He ran on to a through ball 15 yards from goal, splitting two defenders but his shot was blocked by Guzan and cleared away by Alfonso Loera.
The Earthquakes finally broke through the Chivas defense in the waning minutes of the first half. De Rosario took possession of the ball after a Chivas turnover near midfield.
The Canadian international turned and sent a pass over the Chivas USA defense to a streaking Moreno, who split the last two defenders, controlled the ball at the top of the penalty area and coolly shot past a helpless Guzan. It was Moreno's fourth goal on the campaign.
The match tempo was raised to a higher level coming out of the halftime break, both sides creating quality scoring opportunities and losing the sluggishness that plagued the first 45 minutes of the match.
However, the goalposts seemed to shrink as three shots in a frenetic 10-minute span were denied only by the woodwork, two for Chivas and one for the Earthquakes.
In the 53rd minute, Chivas USA nearly squared things but Isaac Romo's header five yards from goal banged off the left post.
Ten minutes later, Chung beat Guzan with a ferocious header seven yards from goal but his shot didn't beat the crossbar, clanging off the woodwork.
Just one minute later, Chivas were again denied by the crossbar as Hector Cuadros' 20-yard free kick went over the wall, beat goalkeeper Pat Onstad but smashed into the frame.
A minute later, in the 66th minute, Hendrickson drew Chivas USA even with a low volley that beat Onstad near post. Ramon Ramirez sent a crossing ball from the left side of the penalty area to the right where Hendrickson maneuvered around Ricardo Clark before getting his right foot on the ball for the goal.
The Earthquakes then seemingly scored in stoppage time but De Rosario was called offside after banging home a ball across the goal from Moreno.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Brad Guzan (CD Chivas USA)
Danny Bueno is a contirbutor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
San Jose Earthquakes (3-3-5) vs. CD Chivas USA (1-9-2)
June 12, 2005 -- The Home Depot Center
SJ -- Alejandro Moreno 4 (Dwayne De Rosario 5) 45
CHV -- Ezra Hendrickson 2 (Ramon Ramirez 4) 66
San Jose Earthquakes -- Pat Onstad, Chris Aloisi, Danny Califf, Eddie Robinson (Ryan Cochrane 75), Wade Barrett, Mark Chung (Julian Nash 76), Ricardo Clark, Dwayne De Rosario, Brad Davis, Ronald Cerritos (Wes Hart 81), Alejandro Moreno.
Substitutes Not Used: Jon Conway, Danny O'Rourke.
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (3 tied with 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Ronald Cerritos 3); FOULS: 19 (Chris Aloisi 5); OFFSIDES: 3 (3 tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Brad Davis 2); SAVES: 2 (Pat Onstad 2)
CD Chivas USA -- Brad Guzan, Alfonso Loera, Ryan Suarez (Arturo Torres 76), Armando Begines, Ezra Hendrickson, Ramon Ramirez (Orlando Perez 84), Douglas Sequeira, Antonio Martinez (Hector Cuadros 61), Francisco Mendoza, Isaac Romo, Thiago Martins.
Substitutes Not Used: Francisco Gomez, Aaron Lopez, Matt Taylor, Martin Zuniga.
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Ezra Hendrickson 3, Thiago Martins 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 18 (Alfonso Loera 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (Thiago Martins 1, Isaac Romo 1); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Antonio Martinez 5); SAVES: 7 (Brad Guzan 7)
SJ -- Ricardo Clark (caution; Pushing, Holding) 15
CHV -- Antonio Martinez (caution; Reckless Foul) 32
CHV -- Isaac Romo (caution; Pushing, Holding) 62
SJ -- Chris Aloisi (caution; Tackle from Behind) 63
CHV -- Armando Begines (caution; Pushing, Holding) 70
CHV -- Arturo Torres (caution; Delaying a Restart) 93+
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee's Assistants: -Thomas Supple; Jose Corro
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.