Chivas USA had been perfect on the road heading into their trip to Dick's Sporting Goods Park to face the Colorado Rapids, but it only took one disastrous second half to undue their run.
Despite having the edge in possession — 53 percent to Colorado's 47 percent — and creating several dangerous chances, the Rojiblancos failed to find the net and conceded four unanswered goals in the second 45 to fall 4-0 to the Rapids on Saturday night.
“This is obviously a very poor result,” head coach Robin Fraser told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “We put ourselves in a some difficult positions with some turnovers. At the end of the day, you go on the road, then you have to fight — and we’ve seen us fight before on the road — and we felt like today some of that was lacking.”
Full Highlights: COL 4, CHV 0
Following a drab first half, Colorado went ahead five minutes into the second half when rookie midfielder Tony Cascio scored his second goal of the season off a corner kick. Down a goal, the visitors’ offense sprung to life, creating numerous chances. But as has often been the case this season, Chivas’ finishing touch was missing.
In the 54th minute, forward Juan Pablo Ángel nearly leveled the score, slicing through the Colorado defense before hitting the side netting. On the ensuing corner kick, the Rojiblancos were denied by the crossbar as Miller Bolaños’ corner fell for Laurent Courtois, whose shot rattled the bar. Just 11 minutes from time, the Goats had their finest chance when a James Riley cross forced an acrobatic save from 'keeper Matt Pickens, who rose to the occassion time and again to keep the Rapids on top in the score board.
But from there, it all fell apart for Chivas, who conceded three goals in rapid succession in the final 10 minutes of play. Kamani Hill doubled Colorado’s lead in the 82nd minute before Jeff Larentowicz converted a penalty after a foul in the box was called on defender Ante Jazic. The margin of victory was pushed to four in stoppage time when Hill would earn his brace after a scramble in the box.
While the scoreline was hardly flattering, it was the Rojiblancos’ poor finishing that came back to haunt them.
“You start to push forward and look for opportunities to win the game, then you’re going to open yourself up,” said Fraser. “But certainly, you don’t want to give up glaring opportunities as you try to chase the game. Today, it just wasn’t good enough.”
Perhaps the most telling stat of the night was the shot total; the Rojiblancos tallied 14 shots, but not not a single goal. In the last two matches, Chivas have been shut out despite accumulating a total of 35 shots on opposing defenses.
For Fraser, the answer to re-igniting the team's offense next week for their home match against the Chicago Fire comes down to showing more fight.
“For me, it’s a matter of execution, concentration, determination — all those things,” he said.
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @adamserrano