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Confusion proves costly for Chivas USA

Goalkeeper and defense are tentative late in the game, and FC Dallas scores for a 2-1 victory.

June 18, 2011|By Douglas Farmer
  • Chris Cortez tries to defend a free kick by FC Dallas' Daniel Hernandez (not pictured) during Chivas USA's 2-1 loss Saturday night at Home Depot Center.
Chris Cortez tries to defend a free kick by FC Dallas' Daniel Hernandez… (Victor Decolongon / Getty…)

FC Dallas put the ball in the net three times Saturday night, and that was good enough for a 2-1 victory over Chivas USA before 11,253 at the Home Depot Center.

Both teams made defensive lapses in the second half, with the only Chivas goal coming on a deflection off a Dallas player

The deciding goal came after Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobsen sent a seemingly harmless header into the Chivas box in the 85th minute.

The Chivas defense left the ball for goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. Kennedy had left the ball for his defensemen, and before either could recognize the breakdown, Dallas defender Jackson Goncalves knocked in the game-winner.

"If you look at the flow of the game we did a pretty decent job controlling most of the play," Chivas Coach Robin Fraser said. "To make a few mistakes and let a game like that slip away with absolutely nothing to show for it is extremely disappointing."

Midfielder Brek Shea put Dallas ahead in the 22nd minute. He controlled a deep pass from midfielder Andrew Jacobsen and slipped past Chivas defender Michael Umana. With only Kennedy left to beat, Shea fired the ball inside the right post.

"If you look at tonight, [Chivas gave up] goals that were preventable, I thought," Fraser said. "They were individual mistakes."

For much of the game Shea's goal looked as if it would be enough to grant Dallas the victory as Dallas defenders repeatedly used their heads, literally and figuratively, to clear dangerous Chivas crosses.

But that solid defense backfired in the 71st minute when Chivas defender Michael Lahoud sent the ball into a thicket of red and blue from about 30 yards out. Dallas defender George John deflected it past his netminder Kevin Hartman and suddenly the score was tied.

The goal was Lahoud's first of the season and second of his three-year career.

The loss leaves Chivas dangerously close to the cellar of the nine-team Western Conference. Chivas entered the weekend tied for seventh with the Portland Timbers, who host the New York Red Bulls on Sunday night. Only the Vancouver Whitecaps remain lower, a mere three points — one win — behind Chivas.

"There is a side of me that realizes there are growing pains with a young team, but I'm not going to sit here and make excuses," Fraser said. "If it's not good enough, it's not good enough."

douglas.farmer@latimes.com

twitter.com/d_farmer

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