Chivas tops Sounders to stay unbeatenApr 19, 2009 - 5:54 AM CARSON, California (AP) -- Chivas USA scored goals on either side of halftime - one off the foot of an opposing defender - and beat the Seattle Sounders 2-0 at Home Depot Center on Saturday.
Seattle defender James Riley scored the decisive goal in the first half when he put a ball into his own goal. In the 84th minute, substitute Chukwudi Chijindu scored his first career goal to put the game out of reach.
Entering the match, Chivas and Seattle (3-2-0) were 1-2 in the Western Conference standings. Now, Chivas (4-0-1) widened their lead atop the table to four points and now have 13, making them the only team in the league to have a double-digit point total.
Chivas head coach Preki Radosavljevic said his team's success is due to the work they put in on a daily basis.
"They are working their socks off for each other and that's a really good thing to see," he said. "As coaches we don't have to worry if there is going to be commitment on the field. You see that commitment from every single guy."
Each side was missing a player due to suspension. Chivas midfielder Paulo Nagamura and Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller picked up red cards in their respective matches last week and each served automatic one-match suspensions.
Seattle nearly put the visitors up early. In the 10th minute, Fredy Montero broke free on Chivas' penalty area and placed a soft, high-arcing shot on goal. The ball sailed over Chivas goalkeeper Zach Thornton's head but went harmlessly wide of the goal.
Chivas finally broke through in the 32nd minute. Jonathan Borntstein sliced through Seattle's defense and centered a pass to the front of the goal. Riley slid and knocked his clearance attempt into his own net.
Chijindu scored with six minutes remaining when he slid and redirected a pass from Bojan Stepanovic into the back of the goal.
"I was just trying to get across the defender," Chijindu said. "I saw the ball played in and I tried to attack it as hard as I could. Luckily I got a toe on it."
For the first-year Sounders, the loss was another opportunity to learn. The club took the league by storm in winning their first three MLS games but now have dropped two straight, and have failed to score in the process. After not allowing any goals in their first three games, Seattle has now surrendered three goals in the last 100 minutes of play.
"That doesn't concern me as much as not scoring goals in the last two games," Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said of the goals allowed. "When I look at our team over the last 180 minutes we've only really conceded I would say maybe four chances, five chances.
It's not like we're getting chance upon chance created against us and we're struggling to hang on."
Chivas have been able to take charge of the Western Conference despite missing several regulars, such as forwards Ante Razov, Maykel Galindo and defenders Lawson Vaughn and Claudio Suarez. Apart from Nagamjura, nine players in all were unavailable Saturday because of injury.
CHIVAS 2 FINAL
Apr 19 12:30 AM
- MLS UPDATE
CHIVAS GOAL: Chukwudi Chijindu in the 84th minute
Sounders FC 0, Chivas USA 2 2nd - 84'Apr 19 12:18 AM
CHIVAS 1 HALFTIME
Apr 18 11:23 PM
- MLS UPDATE
CHIVAS OWN GOAL: James Riley in the 32nd minute
Sounders FC 0, Chivas USA 1 1st - 32'Apr 18 11:10 PM
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