Chivas USA has to settle for another tie
Leads are hard to get and even more difficult to keep.
This, of late, happens to be the lot in soccer life for Chivas USA.
Chivas lost three leads Saturday on the road at Columbus in a tie.
And it happened again in a 1-1 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday night at the Home Depot Center.
This was despite Chivas playing up a man for the final 23 minutes of the match after the Whitecaps’ Eric Hassli was given a questionable red card for his foul on Chivas’ Chris Cortez.
The larger picture? Chivas (3-4-5) has won once at home.
“Something missing? Yeah, wins,” Chivas Coach Robin Fraser said. “I don’t have an answer for you.”
But he did have some ideas, more or less.
“Just mental mistakes, mental mistakes that allow the other team to get into good dangerous opportunities and they’re obviously finishing their chances,” Fraser said. “But, for the most part, it just comes down to being a little more mentally aware and alert.”
This was first game for the Whitecaps (1-5-6) since they changed coaches — popular Teitur Thordarson replaced by Tom Soehn — and play was passive in the first half.
Chivas scored just 22 seconds into the second half, on a sharp left-footed strike from midfielder Nick LaBrocca.
Any sort of celebratory vibe evaporated less than two minutes later when the Whitecaps equalized, taking advantage of some confusion in the penalty area.
Davide Chiumiento’s shot deflected off Chivas defender Heath Pearce and bounced to a wide-open Camilo, who was off to his left and hit the upper right corner with a pretty strike.
Later, up a man, Chivas dominated play, as expected. The most pivotal sequence came in the 85th minute with Whitecaps goalkeeper Joe Cannon making a point-blank save on LaBrocca and Vancouver defender Jay DeMerit making a goal-line clearance seconds later.
“Probably coming away with a tie in that game is the most disappointing thing,” Chivas’ Justin Braun said. “Any time you’re playing at home, you’re just trying to get three points, especially when you’re up a man for 20 minutes.
“We should have gotten a goal. We were trying to push for it but it didn’t come. Definitely disappointing.”
Midfielder Ben Zemanski agreed.
“Going up a goal and not being able to close out a lead, that’s two games in a row we’ve let a lead slip away, especially being up a man the last 25 minutes or whatever, certainly that’s disappointing,” he said.
“It wasn’t good enough for the first 45 minutes, it was passive, moving the ball sideways around the back and not going anywhere.”
Times staff writer Douglas Farmer contributed to this report.
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