Ten Vancouver men trampled by Goats

Club Deportivo Chivas may be, as a Curva Collective two-stick suggested, a "Dead Club Walking," but even the condemned can still inflict damage on their way to oblivion. 

And that's just what happened at BC Place on Saturday night. Not that it should have came as a surprise. The Goats trode into town sporting a 3-match winning streak, and a 5-match unbeaten streak. 

But still, these were los rojiblancos (the red and whites), a club that had managed but one win in eight previous meetings. It was in Los Angeles that the blue and whites got their first away win in MLS, and Chivas bore witness to Vancouver's largest MLS victory, a 4-0 drubbing back in 2012. 

You would be forgiven if you thought that Saturday's contest would be easy. Unfortunately, it was anything but. The Goats were well organised and in the first ten minutes, they held 12.4% advantage in possession. 

Nine minutes later, Erik Hurtado found himself at the edge of the Chivas box, and passed the ball to Kekuta Manneh. Chivas Captain Carlos Bocanegra immediately directed the Goats' back line to move forward, so that when Hurtado picked up the rebound from Manneh's shot on target, he was standing in an offside position.

 Eric Hurtado complains after referee Armando Villarreal signals for a goal kick instead of a corner.

Eric Hurtado complains after referee Armando Villarreal signals for a goal kick instead of a corner.

It was a shame really, as Erik Hurtado's strike found the back the net. But it was the correct decision. Vancouver would have to wait until the 27th minute, when Pedro Morales corner kick found Carlyle Mitchell, who opened the scoring with a low header.

It was the kind of goal that you wouldn't have expected of a centre back. But Mitchell isn't your typical defender. He began as centre forward, and only switched to defence later in his development. He calmly headed the ball straight through the keeper's open legs. 

With the clock ticking towards half time, Sebastián Fernández thought he'd try a shot from just outside the box. And why not? It had worked against Seattle. But this time, his shot was just wide of the post. 

As the teams headed into the dressing rooms, Vancouver lead 1-0 on the scoreboard, and held a 16.7% lead in possession, but Chivas manager Wilmer Cabrera must have given a good speech, as two minutes after the break, Chivas were level. 

As the cross came in, Agustin Pelletieri managed to lose his man, Johnny Leverón, and use the space he created to connect with a brilliant header, sending the ball down the gap between Gershon Koffie, who was guarding the post, and David Ousted. 

There were more chances for both sides, and some brilliant defensive efforts. Notably Jordan Harvey won the ball with a perfectly timed tackle from behind, negating a 51st effort by Martin Chavez. 

Ten minutes later, he stopped a Mauro Rosales cross with some mid-air blocking. But in the 69th minute, he lost the ball to Rosales, who passed it off to Oswaldo Minda. Harvey was chasing, trying to get it back.

 Jordan Harvey earns himself a straight red for a two-footed challenge on Oswaldo Minda.

Jordan Harvey earns himself a straight red for a two-footed challenge on Oswaldo Minda.

He was never going to win the ball. He was late. Both feet left the ground. It was out of character for the 29-year old, but there can be no defence. It was a red card, plain and simple. Up until that point, Harvey had been having a good game. But after the challenge, his day was done.

Fernández was immediately sacrificed in favour of Christian Dean, and the Whitecaps did well with ten men. If anything, they seemed to play better. They picked up their game and managed their disadvantage well. They even tried to go on to extend their lead, rather than sitting back and playing for the draw. 

Nigel Reo-Coker, who came on roughly a minute before Harvey was dismissed, had an excellent chance to regain the lead in the 74th minute, but his shot was just wide. 

Hurtado, who had an earlier goal disallowed, selflessly set up the chance, recognising that Reo-Coker was coming in and would have position shortly. 

Ruffio seems to be maturing before our very eyes, and the chant, "Rufio! Rufio! Ru-Fi-OOOOOOOOOOOOOh!" could become a staple of BC Place for years to come, or at least until his neck haircut. 

In the 77th minute, Hurtado flicked the ball on to Darren Mattocks who tried to round Chivas's goalkeeper, Dan Kennedy. But Kennedy managed to pull the ball out from under Mattocks' feet.

Alas, twelve minutes after Harvey had been sent off, the Goats used their man advantage to find space along the right flank before crossing the ball to Erick Torres, who beat Steven Beitashour and Ousted to put Chivas on top. It was the Mexican's fifth goal in five matches. 

 Dan Kennedy had the ball between his glove and the turf before Pedro Morales kicked it over the line.

Dan Kennedy had the ball between his glove and the turf before Pedro Morales kicked it over the line.

Vancouver almost got an equaliser. They came agonisingly close. Beitashour crossed the ball, Kennedy dealt with it, planting the ball on the ground with all four fingers and a thumb.

Morales kicked it out of his hand and across the line, but the linesman correctly signalled for a goal kick. 

Vancouver would get more chances in stoppage time, including a 94th minute corner that Ousted came up for. Vancouver's goalkeeper almost won the ball, as the cross came near him.

But almost doesn't cut it, even for a goalkeeper in the opposing box. The ball was headed towards Leandro Barrera, who ran up the field as Ousted sprinted back. He took his time and found the right weight. Although it took a while, the ball eventually found its way into the open net.

With the win, Chivas climbed above Portland in the Western Conference. They may not have an owner, they may not even know what they'll be called next year, but on the strength of a four game winning streak, Chivas now find themselves two points back of the Whitecaps, who currently hold the fifth and final playoff spot in the West.

The Whitecaps head to Toronto on Wednesday, where manager Carl Robinson will face a tough decision on whether to give Sam Adekugbe or Christian Dean a chance on the left, now that Harvey is suspended. After that, they will face Real Salt Lake in Utah on Saturday. Their next home game will be against our most unlikeliest of rivals, FC Dallas, who we will play at 2:00 PM on July 27th.

Click here to see Christopher Vose's fullscreen slideshow.