Categorized | MLS, MLS Match Reports

Rapids rally for Draw against Shorthanded Chivas

Posted on 12 August 2013 by iyeo

It wasn’t your typical Sunday evening at the Stubhub Center, that was for sure.

Sunday night’s match between Chivas USA and the Colorado Rapids had plenty of fireworks, with three red cards being handed out and a missed penalty to boot. Yet even though the Rapids were given the man advantage twice in the match, they still had to settle for a 1-1 draw against the Goats on Sunday night.

“The boys are not happy with a point anymore, which is good,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja said. “I thought we came back from a game that was weird. With what happened in the game, [and] I’ve been in those games before, you don’t have answers. But I thought the players had answers in the second half especially, and I’m very proud of them.”

Chivas got on the board just five minutes in. Striker Erick Torres took advantage of a poor clearance attempt by Rapids defender German Mera. Mera saw his clearance deflect off another Chivas player before it went to the feet of Torres. Torres then crossed a ball towards Alvarez, who came in at the top of the Colorado penalty area. Alvarez fired a volley just outside the box and it beat keeper Clint Irwin to the far post.

Colorado immediately looked for the equalizer, and seemingly had it in the 26th minute when Chivas’ Steven Purdy handled Dillon Powers’ corner kick in the penalty area, resulting in referee Chris Penso whistling for the penalty spot and a yellow card for Purdy. Rapids striker Deshorn Brown stepped into the penalty area, but unlike last time, when Brown beat Kennedy from the penalty spot in the Rapids’ last visit to LA back in April, Kennedy got the better of the matchup this time. Brown tried to beat Kennedy to his right, but Kennedy parried the shot back into play.

“I’ve got to give a little bit of credit to Alvarez on that one,” Kennedy said of the penalty. “He came up to me and said he’s going to my right, and I know he went that way the first time we played them here. It was a little bit of cat-and-mouse and mind games and I just made sure I was set and got a good jump on it.”

Then the red cards started coming out, the first coming in the 35th minute, when Chivas’ Gabriel Farfan was sent off when his challenge got the lower leg of Colorado’s Shane O’Neill. Colorado however gave back the man advantage in the 49th minute when Tony Cascio went studs up while trying to beat Marky Delgado to a 50-50 ball. Cascio appeared to make contact with Delgado on the play and Cascio, already having received a yellow card back in the first half, received his second yellow and thus the ensuing red-card ejection and the early end to his night.

Chivas however gave the man advantage back to Colorado, albeit it under dubious circumstances, in the 63rd minute. Tristan Bowen was trying to shield Chris Klute from the ball in front of the Chivas bench. The ball went over the touchline and Bowen apparently spit his gum into Klute soon after, although it is very up much for debate as to whether Bowen deliberately spit his gum at Klute or whether it was accidental. Penso consulted with sideline official Daniel Belleau over the incident and Penso gave a straight red to Bowen.

“It was a bit of misfortune,” Kennedy said of the situation. “The referee said Tristan spit on [Klute] and Tristan said he was yelling and his gum flew out of his mouth and it hit the player. It’s just unbelievable. I’ll have to see it on tape, but of course I take Tristan’s word for it.”

Through all the madness, Colorado finally pushed a goal across in the 80th minute, as Klute crossed a ball into the penalty area and Martin Rivero, who had entered as a substitute back in the 62nd minute, headed the ball past Kennedy far post for the equalizer.

“It was one of those games,” Pareja said. “Sometimes the game is tough when you play with one man up, and the other team is just sitting and waiting. It’s not easy, but what we can say is Chivas didn’t have any options when they were one man down and we controlled them all the time.”

Indeed it was one of those games, though for Chivas USA, it is developing a bad habit of collecting red cards at inopportune moments. Sunday’s sending off of Farfan and Bowen marked the fourth time in Chivas’ last five matches that a player has been sent off, something that head coach Jose Luis Real says he will look into.

“That’s the most important problem we need to solve,” Real said. “We’ve got to analyze and talk with the team. It can’t happen when we have an opportunity to win matches.”

Both teams will be back in action on August 17. Chivas USA heads on the road to face FC Dallas while Colorado hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps.

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