Bobby Burling came from the back of the box to head down a corner kick and score the winner for Chivas USA in a 3-2 victory against the Chicago Fire on Sunday.
The center back saved his club the embarrassment of losing a 2-0 lead, after the Fire came back to equalize in a match that saw all five goals scored in the second half.
The match was scoreless until the 56th minute when Gonzalo Segares pulled down Erick “Cubo" Torres after Bakary Soumary, who also lost Burling on the final goal, whiffed on a cross coming his direction and fell to the Goats forward.
Torres stuttered outside the box, stopped up and hit the penalty kick to Sean Johnson’s left as the keeper dove right to give Chivas USA the opening goal of its final campaign under that name.
Chivas USA extended its lead three minutes minutes later when Thomas McNamara direct a Leandro Barrera cross from the left in past Johnson.
But new Fire manager Frank Yallop made a substitution after each goal and both paid off. Less than a minute after coming on for his MLS debut, U.S. youth international Benji Joya cleaned up an Alex shot for the Fire’s opening goal. Quincy Amarikwa had a solo effort six minutes later to bring the teams even.
But Mauro Rosales’ 88th minute corner was put in by Burling to give Chivas USA its first opening weekend victory since 2009.
The second half flurry of action was welcome for neutrals after a first half went by that saw very little in the way of scoring chances - or anything else save a run or two by the Chicago Fire’s Alex.
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