Brad Davis scored one goal and set up two others -- all on free kicks -- but the San Jose Earthquakes had to settle for a 3-3 draw with Chivas USA on Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium. After burying a direct free kick late in the first half, Davis assisted on second-half goals by Troy Dayak and Brian Ching as San Jose twice came back from one-goal deficits only to concede the tying goal in second-half stoppage time.
After a long stretch in the second half in which the game took on a defensive complexion, the match opened up significantly around the 70-minute mark. Chivas USA took a 2-1 lead on a powerful header from Hector Cuadros in the 73rd minute.
San Jose answered right back just under two minutes later as Davis floated a free kick across the goalmouth to Dayak, who leaped high at the far post to send a looping header back over goalkeeper Brad Guzan to make it 2-2.
The Earthquakes appeared to have a match-winner in hand on a header by Ching in the 75th minute off another Davis free kick, but Chivas USA tied it in the first minute of stoppage time. Center back Douglas Sequeira powered through for a header off a free kick from the left side by midfielder Antonio Martinez for the final scoreline.
Although the Quakes were not able to generate much continuity in the attack, a Chivas USA goal in the third minute was the only serious scoring opportunity they conceded in the first half.
The goal came on a cross from the left side by Orlando Perez, who guided the ball over the head of center back Ryan Cochrane and onto the path of Thiago Martins. Martins chested the ball nicely and slid it past onrushing goalkeeper Pat Onstad to give Chivas USA the lead -- the shot only goal Chivas USA manufactured the entire first half.
The Earthquakes spent much of the first 30 minutes bypassing the midfield and playing balls directly to forwards Ronald Cerritos and Ching.
With Chivas USA taking control of the majority of possession in the midfield, San Jose was left to rely on the individual efforts of the two strikers. Each striker put together a long individual run from the midfield only to be denied at the end by saves from Guzan.
After the shaky start, the Earthquakes began to establish territorial dominance toward the latter part of the first half when they were able to get their midfield more involved.
Davis scored his first goal with the Earthquakes with a brilliant free kick, tucking in a left-footed shot into the upper left corner from the edge of the area to level the score. Ching drew the foul with a run across the top of the box, where he was taken down by Chivas USA defender Orlando Perez.
After the break, the game took on a bit of a harder edge. San Jose's Brian Mullan and Ryan Cochrane -- among the five players shown a yellow card on the day -- were booked in short order and Chivas defender Ryan Suarez was forced to leave the field after he was injured in a hard collision with Dayak. But that merely set the stage for the thrilling finish with four goals in the final 20 minutes.
Next Saturday, the Quakes head to Chicago to tackle the Fire (8:30 p.m. ET), while Chivas USA hosts FC Dallas (10 p.m. ET, HDNet) at The Home Depot Center.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Brad Davis (San Jose Earthquakes)
Danny Kadah is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
CD Chivas USA (0-1-0) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (0-0-1)
April 9, 2005 -- Spartan Stadium
CHV -- Thiago Martins 1 (Orlando Perez 1) 3
SJ -- Brad Davis 1 (unassisted) 45
CHV -- Hector Cuadros 1 (Ezra Hendrickson 1) 73
SJ -- Troy Dayak 1 (Brad Davis 1) 75
SJ -- Brian Ching 1 (Brad Davis 2) 79
CHV -- Douglas Sequeira 1 (Antonio Martinez 1) 90
CD Chivas USA -- Brad Guzan, Ezra Hendrickson, Douglas Sequeira, Ryan Suarez (Jesus Ochoa 58), Orlando Perez (Isaac Romo 83), Hector Cuadros, Aaron Lopez, Ramon Ramirez, Arturo Torres, Thiago Martins (Antonio Martinez 87), Matt Taylor.
Substitutes Not Used: Javier Barragan, Francisco Mendoza.
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Thiago Martins 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Thiago Martins 2); FOULS: 25 (Ramon Ramirez 5); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5 (Ramon Ramirez 5); SAVES: 4 (Brad Guzan 4)
San Jose Earthquakes -- Pat Onstad, Craig Waibel, Ryan Cochrane, Troy Dayak, Wade Barrett, Brian Mullan (Dwayne De Rosario 71), Ricardo Clark (Ian Russell 76), Danny O'Rourke, Brad Davis, Ronald Cerritos (Alejandro Moreno 80), Brian Ching.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Aloisi, Jon Conway, Tighe Dombrowski, Kevin Goldthwaite, Wes Hart, Roger Levesque.
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Brian Ching 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Brian Ching 3); FOULS: 19 (Brian Ching 6); OFFSIDES: 1 (Dwayne De Rosario 1); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Brad Davis 5); SAVES: 1 (Pat Onstad 1)
SJ -- Brian Ching (caution; Tackle from Behind) 17
CHV -- Thiago Martins (caution; Pushing, Holding) 33
CHV -- Ramon Ramirez (caution; Tackle from Behind) 40
SJ -- Brian Mullan (caution; Tackle from Behind) 60
SJ -- Ryan Cochrane (caution; Pushing, Holding) 71
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee's Assistants: -Jose Corro; Emiliano Monje
4th Official: Marcel Yonan
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.