Chivas USA midfielder Sasha Victorine, making his first start for the Red-and-White, scored the game-winning goal against his former team in Chivas USA’s 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Wizards. Victorine also assisted on the first goal of the match, by Alecko Eskandarian, as the Red-and-White regained the second position in the Western Conference.
A pair of Chivas USA’s Western Conference rivals also earned wins on Saturday, as Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids moved into a tie for third place with 34 points. The Red-and-White, with 36 points, currently hold the tie-breaker over both RSL and Colorado.
Alecko Eskandarian opened the scoring on the night in the 26th minute, finishing a low cross from Sasha Victorine. Forward Ante Razov, who later left the match in the 30th minute with an apparent calf injury, also assisted on the goal, which was Eskandarian’s fourth of the season, and second in two games.
Victorine’s goal came during stoppage time at the end of the first half, when he drove a curling 20-yard shot past Kevin Hartman in the Kansas City net. Atiba Harris and Sacha Kljestan assisted on the goal, and Kljestan and Razov remain tied for the team lead in assists with six apiece.
Kansas City Wizards forward Josh Wolff scored on a close-range bicycle kick in the 70th minute on a broken play, but goalkeeper Dan Kennedy and the rest of the Chivas USA defense held firm to earn the win.
Chivas USA Head Coach Preki, on tonight’s match: “I give my guys an incredible amount of credit because they fought, and they’re still fighting. They deserve what they’re getting; they’re putting themselves in a good position, and hopefully we’ll take care of business in the rest of the season.” (For a full quote sheet, please visit http://www.cdchivasusa.com/.)
The match saw the return to the lineup of defender Alex Zotinca, who went 65 minutes in his first action since tearing his ACL in March, during preseason. Forward Maykel Galindo, who last played on Aug. 14, also returned to the field, playing the final 13 minutes. Chivas USA now has four games left in the regular season. The next two are on the road (Oct. 4 at D.C. United, Oct. 11 at the San Jose Earthquakes), and then the team will close with two games at home (Oct. 19 vs. the Colorado Rapids, Oct. 25 vs. the Houston Dynamo). For more information on any matches, or to purchase tickets, fan can call 1-877-CHIVAS-1 or visit http://www.cdchivasusa.com/.
PHOTO: JUAN MIRANDA/CHIVAS USA