San Jose Earthquakes defeat Colorado to keep playoff hopes alive

October 10, 2013

San Jose v. Colorado (2013) / Photo: Khalil Carter

Santa Clara, Calif. -- On Wednesday the fans at Buck Shaw Stadium witnessed a flurry of missed scoring chances by the San Jose Earthquakes against the Colorado Rapids, but on a night that could have easily been remembered only for the lost opportunities and wayward shots, it was of course Chris Wondolowski who headed in the winning goal to make everything right for the Quakes in their1-0 triumph in front of a sold-out crowd.

The San Jose Earthquakes entered the game seeking to narrow the gap between their squad and the Colorado Rapids.  A win would move the Quakes only one point behind the Rapids, who at 5th place in the Western Conference, hold the final playoff spot.  It was clear from kick-off the 2012 Supporter’s Shield winners were going to press forward and force the Rapids to defend throughout the night.

The Quakes found their offensive rhythm early in the match by counterattacking.  In the 6th minute Shea Salinas adeptly intercepted a ball and made a pass to Wondolowski who took the ball in the right side of the box and arrowed a shot towards the face of the net.  Goalie Clint Irwin punched the ball for a save, but Wondoloaski chased down the clearance and passed to Sam Cronin.   Cronin then crossed the ball over to the defenders, but Alan Gordon sent his header wide left of the post.

Gordon would later miss on two other headers in the 31st and 35th minutes.

Meanwhile, the Rapids failed to convert on several first half scoring chances of their own.  In the 19th minute, Edson Buddle sent a cross to a wide open Vincente Sanchez positioned outside the six yard box. The wide open Sanchez connected and angled the ball downward toward the right hand corner of the net, but the shot bounced clear of any danger.

Right before the end of the half at the 44th minute Buddle put his head on a pass into the 18 yard box, but his shot deflected off the back of Clarence Goodson and skidded past the goal and out of bounds.

The first half ended scoreless and with the Quakes noticeably frustrated by their inability to capitalize with their chances in front of the net.

The second half started with the Quakes continuing their attacking pressure.  This time Wondolowski took a pass out of the backfield, turned his defender, dribbled into the 18 yard box, forced Irwin to make a save, and won another corner kick for his team.  In the game the Quakes would have total 8 corner kicks versus 2 for the Rapids.

In the 64th minute it appeared the Quakes would finally find the back of the net when Wondoloski controlled a cross from Jordan Stewart and beat Irwin with a shot that was headed towards goal, but was ultimately blocked by a sliding Drew Moor. The ricochet landed five yards away to Alan Gordon, but the resulting strike was denied by the outstretched right foot of Moor who still lay on his backside.

The unrelenting Quakes pressure paid off when a Salinas corner kick in the 69th minute found Wondoloski who cracked the ball passed a frozen Irwin. The goal was Wondolowski’s 10th of the season and would be all the Quakes needed to secure the victory.

The Rapids would have one last opportunity to tie the game in the 89th minute with a corner kick that curved dangerously close to the front of goal.  The attempt was snuffed out by Quakes goalie Jon Busch who easily secured the ball with both hands.  The play took the game into stoppage time where the Rapids were still unable to pierce Quakes defense.

Next up for the San Jose Earthquakes and Wodolowski is an October 20th away game against their in-state rivals, the LA Galaxy.   That game will be televised by ESPN, and the Quakes can count on seeing a more aggressive offensive then they did against the Rapids on Wednesday night.

By Mike Chavez
Contributing Writer for

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...