Whitecaps rally late to earn 3-3 draw with the Earthquakes

San Jose Earthquakes’ Jeremy Ebobisse (11) and Cade Cowell (44) celebrate Ebobisse’s goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps in second half action at BC Place in Vancouver on Sat May 14, 2022 (AP News photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

VANCOUVER, B.C. — It was a one-point stinger up north.

Down a goal late in the match, the Vancouver Whitecaps scored the equalizer in the first minute into stoppage time in the second half to comeback for a 3-3 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon at BC Place.

A corner kick from Déiber Caicedo found Erik Godoy in the middle of the box and his right footed shot found the back of the net for the center fullback’s first goal of the season to earn a point for the home team.

San Jose, who have four points in their last two MLS matches, were left scratching their heads as they had three points in their grasp but weren’t able to hold on to their one-goal lead they had twice late in the second half. Vancouver has points in back-to-back matches.

“First of all, one point on the road is a point,” said Quakes interim head coach Alex Covelo. “It’s something positive that we can bring home. In relation to the game, I think you’re right. We created three goals in transition. We were talking about that at halftime that we had to be more aggressive once we recovered the ball to go forward but without losing our composure.”

The Earthquakes controlled play for the majority of the first half as they created scoring chances while keeping the Whitecaps on the back of their heels.

San Jose (2-5-4) started the second half with a fleury of chances in an opening minute sequence. Two shots from Paul Marie were blocked inside the box and a Marcos Lopez’s chance from 20 yards out hit the post.

Vancouver (2-6-2) drew first blood the 56th minute. Lucas Cavallini finished off a give and go with Ryan Raposo with a left footed shot that beat Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski into the right corner for his second goal of the season.

San Jose answered back in the 62nd minute when Cristian Espinoza made a brilliant individual effort when he sent in a cross into the box where an unmarked Jamiro Monteiro headed the ball into the back of the net for his first goal of the season and in a Quakes uniform.

The Quakes earned their first lead of the match in the 73rd minute on the first goal of Jeremy Ebobisse’s brace. Monteiro found Cade Cowell along the left wing. Cowell dribbled into the box before finding Ebobisse, who one-timed the ball past Whitecaps goalkeeper Cody Cropper for his sixth goal of the season.

“I think that Jeremy [Ebobisse] is a player that tries to help us in build-up, trying to arrive to the box, he has very good feet, he has goals. Today, he helped us a lot. He helped us a lot today, and every game that he plays for us, offensively and defensively. Obviously when you are a striker, a nine, you have to be in those spaces. Sometimes the ball arrives, sometimes not. Jeremy has been good. I’m so happy for him,” Covelo said.

Vancouver responded two minutes later on a counterattack. The Whitecaps caught the Quakes flat footed as Caicedo waited for his moment to find Raposo who one-timed a right footed shot just inside the right post for his second goal career MLS goal in the 75th minute.

Ebobisse recorded his brace in the 81st minute to once again give the Quakes a one-goal lead. Cowell found Espinoza along the right side of the box. Espinoza then crossed the ball back into the middle where Ebobisse finished off a tic-tac-toe of a goal for his team leading seventh goal of the season.

Ebobisse is tied for first in MLS in goal scoring this season with his seven goals in 10 matches, that includes three braces.

“The team achievements come first,” Ebobisse said. “The goals today were useful for a tie, but ultimately I want to win. I’ve been to an MLS Cup before. Unfortunately, it didn’t go my team’s way and ever since, that’s been the plan, to get back there. If my goals help get us there, then I’ll be super grateful and grateful to the rest of the team who are providing the service for those goals. However, we can get to the playoffs and make a run, I’m happy to play my role.”

Cavallini had a chance to give the Whitecaps an improbably comeback win on the last play of the match but his header from six yards out hit the left post and went out of bounds.

Marcinkowski finished the match with four saves on seven shots on target. Cropper made three saves on six Quakes shots on targets.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished with five corner kicks. Vancouver had three.

San Jose is now 4-1-1 in all competitions under Covelo, including a 2-1-1 record in MLS play and 2-0-0 record in U.S. Open Cup play.

The Quakes have now scored 19 goals as a team, fifth most in Major League Soccer.

Espinoza recorded two assists during the match. It marked his fifth and sixth assists of the season and 35th and 36th of his MLS career.

Jan Gregus tallied an assist on Monteiro’s goal. It marked his sixth assist of the season and 25th of his MLS career.

Cowell assisted on both of Ebobisse’s goal. It marked his second assist of the season and ninth of his MLS career.

UP NEXT: San Jose hosts the Portland Timbers on Wednesday 5/18 at 7:30pm at Pay Pal Park.

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