Chivas USA Stumble in Salt Lake in Playoff Opener

Chivas USA Coach Preki looked like someone had punched him in the gut on the Fox Soccer Channel post-game interview after his team conceded the game’s lone goal in the 90th minute. Pasadena City College product Yura Movsisyan scored the worthy game winner with a sweet touch for a Real Salt Lake team that may have played its best game of the season.

Until then Chivas USA had successfully repelled what was at times a wonderfully inventive and expressive Real Salt Lake attack; the home team finished with 21 shots to just three for their opponents. Goalkeeper Zach Thornton was effective upon his return to goal in place of the suspended Dan Kennedy, Jonathan Bornstein – playing an unusual central defensive role – largely matched the pace of Movsisyan and even striker Ante Razov cleared a shot off the line.

Matchtracker.

Game story.

Return leg: Nov. 8 at Home Depot Center.

RSL are woeful on the road and Chivas USA must attack; a good combination for an intriguing game.

Updated:

Quotable – Chivas USA Coach Preki on the late goal:

“For a moment it was going to be one of those days where we escape, not conceding a goal and putting ourselves in a good spot going home. But one play off of the throw in, we fall asleep for a second, and it’s one-nothing.”

On facing a deficit going back to Home Depot Center:

“We’re in the same spot as we were last year. We’re going home and hopefully this time it will be a little different for us. Even if it was 0-0 here we’d have to go home and win, so we have to win no matter what.”

Chivas USA Captain Jese Marsch:

We didn’t play great, by any means. [Real Salt Lake] came after us pretty hard. Around the 65th minute it calmed down a little bit, and we had chances to play and created a little bit more, but we were two minutes away from accomplishing what you set out to do when you come on the road. It’s unfortunate and we’re disappointed and upset, but it’s halftime right now. We’re going home and you have to score a goal to advance anyway. So we’re going to take it to them at home like they took it to us here.”

Highlights:

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!