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Late tally by Harris sends Chivas USA past Toronto FC

Aug 31, 2008 - 6:35 AM
CARSON, California (Ticker) -- Chivas USA and Toronto FC entered Saturday as teams desperate for a win. They both appeared to be headed for one point until Atiba Harris stepped up.

Harris scored the go-ahead goal in stoppage time as Chivas USA recorded a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC.

On a corner kick in the 94th minute, All-Star midfielder Sacha Kljestan fed a cutting Harris, who deftly back-heeled a soft grounder that eluded a defender as well as goalkeeper Greg Sutton.

"Sacha did a good job getting me the ball and (Chivas forward Justin Braun) let the ball go through for me," Harris said. "It wasn't the prettiest goal, but I'll take it. I know when Sacha has the ball, he's going to look for me and I called Justin off. I was just hoping to get it on target and it goes in."

Even though Sutton finished with five saves, Chivas kept him busy all night as it outshot Toronto, 20-5.

"We need to do better with our finishing, there's no doubt about that," Chivas forward Alecko Eskandarian said. "You don't want to wait till the 90th minute to score, but we needed a break tonight and we earned it ."

For Chivas (7-9-6), the win was its first in seven matches and moved it into a tie with FC Dallas (6-8-8) for third place in the Western Conference.

The heartbreaking loss extended Toronto's winless streak to three games and kept it in the Eastern Conference cellar, tied with Kansas City (6-8-8).

"It was crazy, wasn't it?" Toronto coach John Carver said. "If you think about it, there was only seconds left and our goalkeeper rolls the ball out to a midfielder who has his back to the play. It turns into a corner (kick) and, the next thing you know, the ball is in the back of the net."

Jim Breenan opened the scoring for Toronto (7-10-5) in the 19th minute, when he received a pass inside the penalty area from Rohan Ricketts and converted his first goal of the season.

Eskandarian scored the game-tying goal in the 20th minute, taking a feed from Ante Razov inside the box and scored his third of the campaign.

"In the first half, we created so many chances - some really good chances - and then to go down, 1-0, basically on their first chance; that was a difficult moment ," Chivas coach Preki said. "But we reacted well and the next thing you know it's 1-1."