By JONATHAN VERA
CARSON, Calif – It was an uneventful first half at the Home Depot Center in the clash between Chivas USA and the San Jose Earthquakes. The passing was not up to par, and the final touches could have been better.
But in the second half, that all changed. The Rojiblancos decided to step it up a notch and make up for games’ lackluster start. The result was Chivas USA's best performance in weeks, and a 2-0 win against the Earthquakes on Wednesday night.
Ben Zemanski and Nick LaBrocca delivered the goals to help the Goats post a sorely-needed victory.
“The beginning was a little bit slow and our movement wasn’t great today,” confessed Coach Robin Fraser. “It was sharper in the second half and as a result we created a few more quality chances, but it was a good sign for me that as the game went on, we got better.”
Zemanski was the first to convert these “quality chances.” The midfielder came in as a second half substitution and immediately made in an impact on the game by knocked in the games’ opening goal in the 65th minute of play. Zemanski found open space in the Quakes’ zone and blasted it from 35 yards out past an out of positioned Jon Busch.
“The back four dropped off a bit and I knew I had space,” said Zemanski. ”I took the shot and saw that Busch was going the wrong way so I knew it was going in as soon as I hit it.”
The Goats sealed the victory with Nick LaBrocca’s goal in the 85th minute of play. Francisco “Panchito” Mendoza executed a well-timed through pass to LaBrocca at the top of the key. LaBrocca teased Busch as he sashayed his way into the 18 then fired it past him and into net for his fifth goal of the season.
“It was a great ball by Panchito,” LaBrocca said. “It’s the little bit of chemistry; you can get lucky from time to time, but it’s that extra sharpness and chemistry that will make scoring goals easier.”
But was it the sharpness and chemistry that gave the Rojiblancos a favorable night, or was it just a bad showing by the Earthquakes? Coach Frank Yallop believes, “it was us,” not them.
“It’s just one of those nights that’s very frustrating,” admitted Yallop. “If we could have just put our game together we could’ve gotten something out of the match, but we couldn’t even string many passes together.
“We should’ve played better than we did. It’s unlike us, that’s the most frustrating part.”