Hard work and tactics could only give Chivas USA a chance Saturday night before a lack of quality caught up with them.
The Rojiblancos dropped a 1-0 decision to the New England Revolution for their fifth loss in six weeks, as they were once again unable to snap out of a season-worst offensive funk.
It’s been 456 in-game minutes since the Goats last found the back of the net.
“Geez, I thought we really worked hard and we put in a real good shift,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy told reporters at Gillette Stadium. “I thought we did enough to at least earn a tie from this game. [The Revolution] ended up with two good opportunities and we ended up with maybe two good opportunities, but the difference was that Lee [Nguyen] was able to put it in.”
Nguyen beat Kennedy from about 20 yards out in the 56th minute when a failed clearance by Agustín Pelletieri opened a sliver. Andrew Jean-Baptiste was caught in between defending two men, and Nguyen made Chivas USA pay.
“The ball squeaked out, a loose ball, and Lee was just quicker to react,” Kennedy said. “Maybe a favorable bounce, but it was a tidy finish. I got a little touch on the ball, but I was a little bit blocked and didn’t see it too clean.”
With how the last few weeks had unraveled, Chivas USA appeared due for a break, but certainly did not get one when the possibility arose. In the 83rd minute, Erick ”Cubo” Torres seemed to be shoved off the ball by José Goncalves inside the penalty area, but nothing was called.
“I would say, in a lot of ways, we matched them just in the tactical aspect,” assistant coach Paul Caffrey told reporters. “Defensively, we were very good for most of the game. In the end, it was just separated by that little bit of quality from Nguyen.”
In the 65th minute, Félix Borja had a breakaway of sorts, but his shot attempt went directly to Shuttleworth. Seven minutes later, Torres sent a header that appeared destined for pylon, but it was slapped away by a diving Shuttleworth.
“We had maybe three, four very good chances,” Caffrey said. “We lacked, at that point, the little bit of quality. That was the difference.”