PORTLAND, Ore. – With only one goal on the season heading into Saturday night, netting two must have felt like a cornucopia for Chivas USA.
The Rojiblancos wiped away a 1-0 first-half deficit and rallied in an overall dominating second half against the Portland Timbers to earn a 2-1 win at a sold-out JELD-WEN Field.
The Timbers scored first – for the first time this season – on a goal by Designated Player Kris Boyd in the 16th minute, only to have their seemingly good fortune reversed on second-half strikes by Chivas’ Alejandro Moreno and Nick LaBrocca.
Portland dominated the first half, creating 10 attempts on goal to Chivas’ three and controlled a 60 percent possession advantage.
Boyd’s goal came thanks to a defensive blunder by Chivas USA in the 16th minute.
Goats goalkeeper Dan Kennedy collided with defender James Riley while trying to clear a ball played into the box. With the two lying defenseless, Boyd collected the ball and coolly slotted a shot into the open net.
Chivas found space for a near-equalizer four minutes later when a Moreno cross nearly made it through to a charging LaBrocca. Instead, Timbers defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste was in the right place at the right time to clear from right in front of the goal.
The second half saw the momentum completely shift the visitors' way, however, as Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser’s emphasis on attacking throughout the week came to fruition.
Three minutes after the break, halftime substitution Ryan Smith sent in a beautifully placed cross that Moreno headed home to the near corner.
Chivas USA continued to press and found the game-winner off another perfect cross, this time from near the sideline by Smith in the 82nd minute. LaBrocca was there to head it in and secure a second win in two road games for the Goats.
With their victory, Chivas USA improve to 2-3-0 and leap over Portland in the Western Conference standings to grab seventh place. They next travel to Toronto FC on April 14.
The Timbers, meanwhile, lost their third straight and fall to eighth place in the conference with a 1-3-1 record. They next travel to LA to take on the last-place Galaxy, also on April 14.