Having allowed an early goal to USL Pro’s LA Blues in the 11th minute, Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy marched down the field and took the game into his own hands, converting a second half penalty for the game-winner as they downed their nearby lower division foe 2-1 to reach the Fourth Round.
Despite getting numerous chances in the early going, the MLS side, which is winless in their last seven league games (0-6-1), found themselves in a hole yet again when George Davis made a great run down the right side and found a fortunate deflection on his shot 11 minutes into the contest.
Chivas USA was not able to find the equalizer until seven minutes into the second half when Carlos Alvarez and Tristan Bowen worked together to pull even. Alvarez took the ball up the middle and dished it out to Bowen on the left flank of the area before getting it back at the spot, where he spun and drove it into the lower right corner of the goal.
The winner from Kennedy came in the 62nd minute after a three minute delay in which Miller Bolanos spent on the turf after a collision between the striker and goalkeeper Aaron Perez drew the penalty.
The net minder was not done, however, as he was called upon to do his normal job, making a pair of big saves two minutes apart as the hosts fought back.
The victory marked the second consecutive year and third time in four years that the club has won it’s opening game of the tournament, changing a history that saw them eliminated in the opener four consecutive times after their 2005 debut.
Editor’s Note: Chivas USA first-year coach head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola (Chelis) was dismissed by the club the following day and replaced by Jose Luis Real Casillas, the Sporting Development Director at Chivas Guadalajara.
LA: George Davis (unassisted) 11’
CHV: Carlos Alvarez (Tristan Bowen) 52’
CHV: Dan Kennedy (PK) 62’
LA: Duach Jock (yellow, foul) 25’
LA: Nelson Pizarro (yellow, foul) 60’
CHV: Miller Bolaños (yellow, delaying the game) 71’
CHV: De Luna (yellow, foul) 77’
CHV: Carlos Borja (yellow, delaying the game) 90+2’
Chivas USA: Dan Kennedy, Carlos Borja, Mario de Luna, Joaquin Velazquez, Josue Soto (Eric Avila 22), Aaron Ponce (Gabriel Farfan 45’), Carlos Alvarez, Giovani Casillas (Jorge Villafaña 45’), Marvin Iraheta, Tristan Bowen, Miller Bolaños
Subs not used: Patrick McLain, Bonny Burling, Marky Delgado
LA Blues: Aaron Perez, Jimmy Turner, Duach Jock, Erlys Garcia, Matt Hull (Sergio Ortiz 87’), Rodrigo Lopez, Alan Russell, Nelson Pizarro, Mehishad Momeni (Juan Perez 66’), Gabriel Gonzalez (Chris Cortez 58’), George Davis
Subs not used: Steve Gonzalez, Charlie Pettys, Corey Miller, David Bakal
Referee: Daniel Radford; Referee’s Assistants: Cesar Calderon, Luis Gutierrez; Fourth Official: Charles Zuckermann