Vancouver Whitecaps defender Javain Brown and San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Shea Salinas (6) get tangled up in first half action at Pay Pal Park in San Jose on Fri Aug 13, 2021 (AP News photo)
by Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE–The San Jose Earthquakes are going to wonder what could have been.
Missed opportunities were the theme of the night as San Jose ended up with a 0-0 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Friday evening at Pal Pay Park.
San Jose extended the league’s longest unbeaten streak to eight games. Vancouver extended its own unbeaten streak to six games with its fifth consecutive draw.
The first half featured 11 combined total shots with San Jose winning the edge 7-4 over Vancouver. The Quakes also had a slight edge in possession in the first 45 minutes, 51.2%-48.8%.
San Jose (5-7-7-22 points) had its best chance of the first half in the 31st minute. Jeremey Ebobisse, who made his first start for head coach Matias Almeyda, received a cross from Luciano Abecasis and his sliding shot from a tough angle was knocked over the net by Whitecaps goalie Maxime Crépeau.
Vancouver (3-7-8-17 points) had their chance in the 27th minute when Déiber Caicedo serviced a ball in the middle to Ranko Veselinovic, whose header was stopped by Quakes goalie JT Marcinkowski.
In the second half San Jose controlled the play and had numerous scoring chances when they had the ball deep inside the box. However, most of those scoring chances ended in a turnover with mistimed passes and a few instances of hesitation by the Quakes.
Almedya looked for a spark from his offense in the 59th minute when he substituted in All-Star Cade Cowell and Marcos Lopez.
“I think the two outside players put in a huge effort,” said Almeyda. “The idea was to put in Cade (Cowell) and (Carlos) Fierro to get more energy and to win out wide. We wanted to win the game. There was a clear message regarding the subs.”
San Jose had its best chance of the match in the 62nd minute. Oswaldo Alanís found Ebobisse open on the right wing from just outside the box. Ebobisse made a move to the inside before firing a shot that Crépeau got a piece of with his left hand and the ball caromed off the right post.
“We took the risk (on being more aggressive on the attack) that could have hurt us on a counter (attack). But we ended up playing with almost all of the forwards that we have. We weren’t able to win but we still added points,” Almeyda said.
Both Marcinkowski and Crépeau finished the match with three for three on their save attempts. Marcinkowski has three shutouts this season and seven for his career.
GAME NOTES: San Jose finished with seven corner kicks. Vancouver had just two.
San Joes is 8-10-10 against Vancouver, including a 5-1-7 record at home and a 4-1-3 record at PayPal Park, in the overall series.
The Quakes have now allowed one or fewer goals in seven consecutive matches.
Forward Andy Rios made his 50th MLS appearance, entering the match in the 77th minute.
UP NEXT: The Quakes conclude its three-game homestand when they host Minnesota Unites on Tuesday 8/17 at 7:30pm at Pay Pal Park.