Categorized | Match Reports

Dynamo, Chivas split points in regular season finale

Posted on 27 October 2008 by tbruce

With their playoff places already set, Houston Dynamo and Chivas USA, played only for the three points, but came away with a share of the spoils instead tying 1-1, Saturday night at the Home Depot Center in Carson.

Houston’s Dwayne De Rosario scored on a controversial penalty kick in the 50th minute and the Red and Whites’ defender, Jim Curtin, tied the game in injury time.

Although the playoff positions were set and the result would not have an impact on whom the teams would match up with. The game was played at playoff pace.

Both coaches came out with their strongest lineups. Chivas had Ante Razov and Alecko Eskandarian up front plus Jesse Marsch and Sacha Kljestan in the midfield. Houston also had their big guns on the field with De Rosario, Brian Ching and Brian Mullen in the starting lineup.

Almost right of the kick off Houston attacked. De Rosario capitalized on a slip by Francisco Mendoza to get a shot in from the right channel, but fortunately for the Goats it flashed past the far post with goalkeeper, Dan Kennedy, beaten.

In the 13th minute Dynamo had the ball in the back of the net. De Rosario ran onto a ball chipped into the penalty box and stroked the ball past Kennedy but the flag went up and he was called offside.

The Red and Whites also had some chances. Ricardo Clark pulled down Mendoza. Kljestan hit the free kick and the Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad, punched the ball out to Marsch who hit a rocket over the bar.

Minutes later Eskandarian had the best chance of the game so far. Razov sent him in all alone against Onstad. The Canadian international goalkeeper got his angles correct as he saved what looked like a certain goal.

Houston came right back as Nate Jaqua and Ching combined to set up Mullen but his shot was disappointingly weak and straight at Kennedy.

As halftime approached Houston almost took the lead. Brad Davis played a through ball to Ching. Claudio Suarez stepped up to catch him offside but Mendoza hesitated and played him on. Ching went in with only Kennedy to beat but the Chivas goalie stayed big and managed to block the shot with his feet keeping a clean score sheet going into the half.

Five minutes into the second half Houston did get on the score sheet. Jaqua ran through as Curtin over ran the ball. Kennedy raced out and dived at Jaqua’s feet. The Houston forward pushed the ball past Kennedy an attempted to jump over him, but tumbled to the ground and referee, Terry Vaughn, had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. To add insult to injury he also gave Kennedy a red card despite the animated protests from the Chivas players.

De Rosario stepped up to the spot and made no mistake in giving his team the lead 1-0.

Houston were now in attack mode as the Red and whites head coach, Preki, rearranged his team with Eskandarian coming off and backup goalkeeper Zach Thornton coming in.

Houston almost added to their lead with first De Rosario and then Jaqua being stopped by Thornton.

With the game coming to an end the Goats showed their fighting spirit. Kljestan sent Carey Talley down the right flank and his cross was diverted on frame by defender, Eddie Robinson. Onstad made a great reflex save but Curtin up from his defensive position was” Johnnie on the spot”, to bundle the ball home.

Chivas coach Preki had this to say about the game.” I thought it was a pretty good first half, I thought it was a good game. Playoff intensity, two good teams trying to outplay each other. We had one or two moments, they had one or two moments; I thought it was kind of even. Second half, we weren’t sure of ourselves for the first 3-4 minutes.”

Preki had this to say about the penalty.” After [the penalty] it was very difficult for us, but once again, the guys in the locker room don’t quit. They keep going, they keep fighting, and they got rewarded at the end. Houston had a few chances, they could’ve put the game away, but Zach [Thornton] makes a couple of saves. We scored the equalizing goal in the last seconds of the game, and right away we could’ve lost. But I give my guys an incredible amount of credit for not quitting. They stuck with each other, and they competed against a very good, quality team in Houston.”

Referee Vaughn had no reservations in giving the spot kick and the red card.” As Jaqua was jumping over, the goalkeeper reaches up and trips him with his arm, ending in a PK and a red card for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity,” commented Vaughn.

Goal scorer, Curtin was happy with his goal but was more impressed with his team’s spirit. “It was a good effort from the team. Everybody worked hard, and pushed as hard as we could being down a man. Against a good team, it’s not always easy, but we didn’t quit and we got a result out of it.” Said defender Curtin.

Houston coach Dominic Kinnear was also happy with his team’s performance. “ I think the energy was good. We didn’t drop off, we kept on trying to play, kept on trying to attack, we gave them nothing, which is a great aspect of this team. I thought we played some good soccer and we kept the ball; I thought we were excellent.” He was also pleased with his teams overall performance for the season. “ I think defensively we’ve been great. I think after tonight we’ve got the best goals against in the league for the second year in a row. I think also in the loss column, we’ve only got five losses, and that’s pretty impressive, considering the amount of games we’ve played. The effort the guys give on both sides of the ball is impressive. I think sometimes the players that we have going forward, it’s dynamic, and it’s quick, and it gives teams problems, and obviously we’re organized too.” Added the Dynamo coach.

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