Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com
By ADAM SERRANO
CARSON, CALIF — If Martin Vasquez needed his club to respond after a poor performance on the road, he got it on Saturday night as Chivas USA impressed in a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at the Home Depot Center.
A trio of goals from Sacha Kljestan, Justin Braun and Chukwudi Chijindu were all the Rojiblancos needed to top the Earthquakes in the California Clásico. Giving the Rojiblancos their second victory of the young season.
It was a Chukwudi Chijindu goal in the 87th minute that provided the difference for the Rojiblancos. Off a 40 yard pass from midfielder Michael Lahoud, Chijindu was able to beat a tailing San Jose defender put away the Earthquakes.
The Quakes were in it until the very end when rookie Steve Beitashour fired in his first career MLS goal in the 93rd minute, but it was simply not enough for San Jose.
With the loss, the Earthquakes now fall to 2-2 on the season and will now head back to play a pair at home. For Chivas USA, the result is the first time since October, 2008 that the Rojiblancos have scored more than two goals in a match.
The Rojiblancos opened the scoring in the 25th minute when Sacha Kljestan fired in an absolute howler from 25 yards that went into the top right corner of Earthquakes Goalkeeper Joe Cannon's net. The Chivas USA captain was incredibly impressive on the night as he was able to orchestrate an attack that was unlike anything seen on the Red and White side of Los Angeles this season.
With Chivas USA dominating the match, the Earthquakes received a fortunate penalty call in the 41st minute from Referee Edvin Jurisevic, who ruled that Jonathan Bornstein brought down Chris Wondolowski in the Chivas USA Box. Wondolowski easily converted past the diving Thornton and put Chivas USA on their heels to start the second half.
Chivas USA responded in the 54th minute when forward Justin Braun received a beautiful picture cross from Mariano Trujillo. The burly striker was able to leap above Earthquakes defender Jason Hernandez and place the ball in the back of the Earthquakes net.
On the whole, San Jose struggled to generate any offense against a pressure minded Chivas USA side which sought to create havoc right out the gate for the Earthquakes. The Earthquakes were clearly frustrated with the intense pressure and did not create enough chances to seriously threaten the Rojiblancos. San Jose provided several moments of pause for Zach Thornton, particularly in the 75th minute when the Chivas USA goalkeeper had to make an acrobatic save to stop a Ryan Johnson header.