Saturday, November 8
Chivas USA’s season comes to an end with 2-2 tie vs. Real Salt Lake in front of electric playoff crowd in Carson
Chivas USA entered the match trailing 1-0 on total goals after last Saturday’s match at Real Salt Lake, and tied the overall score after a half hour, when Ante Razov was taken down in the box. Sacha Kljestan took the resulting penalty kick, and struck high and to RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando’s left, just above his dive. The goal was Chivas USA’s first in the playoffs since October 22, 2006, snapping a scoreless streak of 412 minutes.
Real Salt Lake struck back nine minutes later when Javier Morales’ cross was headed in by Dema Kovalenko, giving RSL the overall back. The Utah side took a further lead deep into the second half when Morales dribbled through the Chivas USA box and hit a low shot into the corner of the net in the 77th minute, giving RSL a 2-1 lead on the night (3-1 overall).
Justin Braun pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute, receiving a Francisco Mendoza through ball and finishing with a hard shot to Rimando’s left. Though Chivas USA continued to push numbers forward in the closing minutes, the team fell short of getting a third goal and the series ended with RSL having the 3-2 advantage.
Real Salt Lake advances to the Western Conference Championship game, against the winner of the Houston Dynamo – New York Red Bulls series, Game 2 of which will be played Sunday in Houston. Chivas USA ends the season with a 12-11-7 record (W-L-T) in the regular season, and an 0-1-1 record in the playoffs.
Chivas USA Head Coach Preki, on tonight’s match: “You can’t discredit [our team’s] commitment, effort. I thought we gave everything we had tonight, I was just a little bit disappointed with the way we came out in Salt Lake. If we had the same type of commitment in Salt Lake, we would not have lost this. Give them credit, they pushed the tempo a little bit more than us, they maybe wanted it a little more than us at home, and they got the result. And here, they got two goals.” (For a full quote sheet, please visit cdchivasusa.com.)