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Farce and flair bind D.C. and Chivas USA, 2-2
by Ridge Mahoney, September 7th, 2007 7AM

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Former Belgium national team coach Guy Thys once said, "Soccer is a very cruel game." Thursday night, Chivas USA and D.C. proved it can also be farcical and embarrassing as well as enthralling. D.C. jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a Luciano Emilio's thunderbolt and follow-up of a Brad Guzan bobble, then conceded a goal drilled off an opponent by its goalkeeper and a deflected equalizer to end up tied, 2-2.

Referee Kevin Stott contributed to the madcap proceedings by attempting to send off D.C. defender Gerg Vanney for incurring a second yellow card even though Vanney hadn't been cautioned.

Chivas USA coach Preki stormed up and down the touchline in the final minutes furiously berating the officials for an offside call that robbed Francisco Mendoza, who replays showed to be at least a yard further from goal than right back Bryan Namoff, of a stone-cold scoring chance.

D.C. defender Bobby Boswell blasted a clearance off his own upright but keeper Troy Perkins wasn't so lucky when he left his penalty area to clear a ball in the 31st minute and smacked it right at Razov. The carom rolled past Perkins and an unbelieving crowd watched his frantic chase end futilely with him and the ball both in the net.

Emilio had raced onto a feed from Jaime Moreno to overpower Guzan with a fearsome shot in the third minute for his league-best 15th goal and he pounced again when Guzan let a low skipping Moreno shot bounce off his chest for No. 16.

A paltry crowd announced at 9,306 did its best to liven the proceedings with chants and horns and streamers and much of what they saw belied the somewhat comical incidents that produced two of the goals. That attendance also left no doubt as to why Chivas USA CEO and president Javier Leon had left his post earlier in the day.

Giveaways plagued both teams after a Lawson Vaughn shot skimmed off Clyde Simms past keeper Troy Perkins to tie the match, 2-2, in the 60th minute, but both teams stitched together some slick sequences during the preceding hour. Gomez tried lobbing Guzan from his own side of the midfield line and his looping shot dropped onto the top netting.

United (13-6-4), which had won all five previous meetings with Chivas USA, edged a point ahead of New England in the overall standings heading into a home date with the Revs Sunday, a few hours before Chivas USA (11-6-4) hosts Red Bull New York with its home unbeaten mark (7-0-2) still intact.

Sept. 6 in Carson, Calif.

Chivas USA 2 D.C. United 2.

Goals: Razov 31, Vaughn (Kljestan, Bornstein) 60; Emilio (Moreno, Gomez) 3, Emilio 26. Chivas USA - Guzan, Vaughn, Suarez (Hernandez, 85), Thomas, Bornstein, Kljestan, Marsch, Nagamura, Mendoza, Galindo (Merlin, 76), Razov (Nunez, 64).

D.C. United - Perkins, Namoff, Boswell, Burch, Vanney, Simms, Gomez, Olsen (Mediate, 82), Fred, Emilio, Moreno (Carroll, 76). Yellow Cards: D.C. United - Namoff 33, Burch 54, Vanney 69. Referee: Kevin Stott.

Att.: 9,306.



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