Chivas Salvages Tie With Wizards
Just when it seemed as if Chivas USA were chasing a lost cause, up popped Jonathan Bornstein to set everything right.
Well, half-right, anyway.
Bornstein, a 21-year-old rookie from Torrance and UCLA, scored his fifth goal of the Major League Soccer season in the 83rd minute Saturday night as Chivas salvaged a 1-1 tie with the Kansas City Wizards at the Home Depot Center.
The result extended Chivas USA’s unbeaten streak to six games and, more important, kept Coach Bob Bradley’s team two points ahead of Real Salt Lake for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
“Sacha [Kljestan] played a wonderful ball,” Bornstein said. “I just had to run onto it and put it into the net.”
Up to that point, Chivas (7-6-11) had battered away in vain at the Kansas City net. Bo Oshoniyi, the Wizards’ goalkeeper, pulled off some exceptional saves. Early on, he twice dived low to his left to deny Chivas striker Ante Razov with one-handed saves off a free kick and a header.
With time running out, Chivas finally found a way to break through when lively winger Francisco Mendoza passed to Kljestan, who in turn threaded the ball through for Bornstein to tuck into the right corner of the net.
Still, the tie was a frustrating result given that questionable refereeing twice thwarted the home team.
On the first occasion, four minutes before halftime, Mendoza made an excellent tackle, stripping Wizards midfielder Davy Arnaud of the ball, only to have linesman Corey Rockwell flag wave for a perceived foul.
“It was a clean tackle,” Bradley said.
Nonetheless, Jorge Burciaga Jr. took the resulting free kick from the edge of the penalty area to the right of the Chivas net and curled his shot past the defensive wall, past Razov who was guarding the near post and past goalkeeper Preston Burpo.
“It got between him [Razov], the wall and me,” Burpo said. “It was a [bad] goal. What are you going to do?”
Chivas answered right away, with Razov steering the ball into the Kansas City net from close range only for referee Ricardo Salazar to call Razov for a questionable foul on Kansas City’s Sasha Victorine.
“There was no foul on Razov’s goal,” Bradley said. “It was a double whammy right before halftime. That part gets old. I don’t like to talk about referees.”
The Wizards were playing their fourth game in eight days, coming off consecutive shutout losses, and were without injured U.S. World Cup players Josh Wolff (groin) and Jimmy Conrad (broken jaw). Walking away with a point was a plus for Coach Brian Bliss’ tired team (7-12-6).
What did Kansas City forward Eddie Johnson think of the result?
“It was better than losing, man,” Johnson said.
Chivas USA could only grudgingly agree.