BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – This time, there was no comeback needed for Chivas USA in a 4-1 win over Chicago on Sunday.
The Goats scored opened the scoring for the first time this season when Edgar Mejia's 57th minute rocket found the back of the net, then Joaquin Velazquez scored the game winner a week after a phantom red card threatened to keep him out of Sunday's contest. A Juan Agudelo curler and an own goal from Chicago’s Jalil Anibaba finished the day off.
The Fire knew they'd have chances against Chivas USA’s bend-but-don’t-break defense, and the opportunities came in bunches during the first half.
Wells Thompson almost put the Fire on the board in the 38th minute when he charged out of his right back spot to unleash a shot from outside the penalty area, which whistled by the post.
A minute later, Chris Rolfe broke through the Chivas defense just across midfield after Sherjill MacDonald sprung him through with a header, but his breakaway shot was saved by Dan Kennedy.
But it was a different story in the second half, as Chivas USA had the bulk of the chances.
Mejia broke a scoreless deadlock in the 57th minute when he collected a perfect layoff from Agudelo outside the box and drilled a shot past Paolo Tornaghi.
Patrick Nyarko leveled the score seven minutes later, Chicago’s first goal of the season, when Sherjill MacDonald found him wide open on right side of the box. The Ghanaian calmly slotted home the equalizer and the Fire's first goal of the season.
But things went pear-shaped for the Fire after MacDonald was subbed off minutes later, and their inability to hold the ball up top caught up to them. A quick Chivas counter led to a free kick 25 yards out, and Mejia found Velasquez on the back post in the 73rd minute for the eventual game-winner. The 37-year-old's header sailed over Tornaghi's head and into the side netting.
Jorge Villafana picked out Agudelo on the break two minutes later, and the 20-year-old curled a shot off the inside of the far post and into the goal for his second of the season. Anibaba sealed the Fire's fate in the 89th minute when he knocked the ball into his own net off of a cross from Jose Correa.
Chivas USA now sit tied for second in the Western Conference after registering seven points in four games. The Goats will host Vancouver next weekend.
The Fire will be left to think about their third loss in four games during an off-week before hosting New York in two weeks.