What few Chivas USA fans managed to show up at the Home Depot Center on Saturday were treated to yet another gritty display by the other hometown club in Los Angeles as they moved into second place in the Western Conference standings with a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. Benefiting from an own goal by the Whitecaps and a brilliant volley by Eric Avila, Chivas fended off the late charge by Vancouver to finish March 3-1-1 and just two points behind FC Dallas for the conference lead.
The own goal came a dozen minutes from the starting whistle. Carlos Alvarez crossed the ball from just outside the box, looking for a teammate at the far post. Instead the ball struck Vancouver midfielder Jun Marques Davidson on the shoulder, redirecting past a helpless Joe Cannon and into the net to give Chivas an early advantage. The blunder would prove the only mark on the scoreboard through the first half, as the Whitecaps pushed for an equalizer and pressured Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy into several spectacular saves.
Despite their attacking drive, Vancouver’s deficit doubled ten minutes from the restart. Jorge Villafaña, starting on the left wing of Chivas’ 3-5-2 formation, worked up the flank before crossing into the box. Waiting unmarked at the far post was Avila, who struck a low blast past Cannon to double the lead.
Vancouver pulled one back in the 64th. Kennedy made a spectacular save on a heavy left-footed strike by Erik Hurtado, but unable to hold the ball bounced a rebound into the air. Waiting at the opposite post was Kenny Miller, who leaped and put a header into the gaping net. The lucky bounce from an otherwise sure-handed Kennedy yielded the only goal the Whitecaps would get on the day, as Chivas clamped down from there for their third victory of the year.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS @ CHIVAS USA
Home Depot Center
March 30, 2013
- 12′ — CHV/Jun Marques Davidson (VAN own goal)
- 55′ — CHV/Eric Avila (Jorge Villafaña)
- 64′ — VAN/Kenny Miller (unassisted)
- CHV (3-5-2): Dan Kennedy; Bobby Burling, Joaquin Velasquez, Mario de Luna; Jorge Villafaña, Edgar Mejia (Marvin Iraheta/77′), Carlos Alvarez, Oswaldo Minda, Eric Avila; Juan Agudelo (Jose Correa/34′), Tristan Bowen (Daniel Antunez/68′)
- VAN (4-3-3): Joe Cannon; Alain Rochat, Brad Rusin, Andy O’Brien, Lee Young-Pyo; Gershon Koffie (Kenny Miller/57′), Jun Marques Davidson (Kekuta Manneh/80′), Nigel Reo-Coker; Camilo Sanvezzo (Erik Hurtado/57′), Darren Mattocks, Daigo Kobayashi