Chivas USA wins third straight as Crew's struggles continueApr 6, 2009 - 3:43 AM CARSON, California (AP) -- When the Columbus Crew last visited Home Depot Center, the club found a welcoming, sold-out venue and made history with a 3-1 win over New York in the 2008 MLS Cup.
On Sunday, however, Home Depot Center once again proved unkind.
Eduardo Lillingston broke a tie early in the second half, and Chivas USA held off a 10-man Columbus side in a 2-1 victory before 12,827 at Home Depot Center on Sunday.
Crew defender Andy Iro was sent off in the 54th minute.
The loss was Columbus' third consecutive setback to Chivas USA at Home Depot Center, and the Crew have now gone four years without a result at their Western Conference rivals. Worse, it spoiled what could have been a joyful return to Home Depot Center.
"What we did last year was great but to be honest last year is in the past right now," Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven said. "This year we can't just go out on the field based on what we did last year... It's a totally new year.
"Teams are really going after us this year which maybe they weren't so much last year," he said. "It's definitely going to be much, much harder. We're just going to have to put last year in the past and move on."
Chivas, meanwhile, enjoyed success against the Crew once again. Chivas won their third consecutive home game against the Crew and are 3-0 for the first time in the team's five-year history.
Lillingston collected his second goal in as many games while Atiba Harris added his first goal of the season.
Despite the victory, not everything ran smoothly for Chivas, who are tied with expansion club Seattle atop the Western Conference.
"It was one of those games that I'm always afraid of," Chivas coach Preki said. "There was not a real football atmosphere in the stadium, guys are a little bit flat, not sharp, whatever."
Even with a lack of sharpness, Chivas scored first. Gerson Mayen found Harris in front of the six-yard box in the 25th minute, and Harris re-directed the pass into the back of the net. However, Chivas gave the lead back in the 37th minute when Iro scored from close range.
"For whatever reason we dropped in our half and started defending, inviting Columbus in our half," Preki said.
Chivas regained the lead five minutes into the second half as Lillingston found the back of the net for the second consecutive match. Shavar Thomas knocked a header off the post, and Lillingston sent the rebound into the back of the net. A week ago, the long-time Mexican league journeyman scored his first career MLS goal in Chivas' 2-0 win over FC Dallas.
"The important thing is to win," Lillingston said. "The team is on a good streak and I'm happy to keep scoring for the team and for the fans."
Despite his earlier goal, Iro ultimately cost his team more than he helped. In the 54th minute, the British defender was ejected after chopping down Chivas' Carey Talley in the middle of the field with a late tackle. Referee Kevin Stott immediately showed Iro a red card while Talley lay on the field for more than a minute in apparent pain.
CHIVAS 2 FINAL
Apr 5 10:09 PM
- MLS CORRECTION
COLUMBUS SUBSTITUTION: Jed Zayner for Chad Marshall
in the 92nd minute
Apr 5 10:06 PM
CHIVAS 2 FINAL
Apr 5 10:05 PM
- MLS UPDATE
CHIVAS GOAL: Eduardo Lillingston in the 50th minute
Crew SC 1, Chivas USA 2 2nd - 50'Apr 5 9:14 PM
CHIVAS 1 HALFTIME
Apr 5 8:53 PM
- MLS UPDATE
COLUMBUS GOAL: Andy Iro in the 37th minute
Crew SC 1, Chivas USA 1 1st - 37'Apr 5 8:44 PM
- MLS UPDATE
CHIVAS GOAL: Atiba Harris in the 25th minute
Crew SC 0, Chivas USA 1 1st - 25'Apr 5 8:32 PM
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