photo from sjearthquakes.com: The San Jose Earthquakes get some love finally getting into the win column after five games with a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps at Avaya Stadium on Saturday night.
by Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a historic night that featured first goals for three different players, the San Jose Earthqaukes used two of them to their advantage as they cruised to a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday evening at Avaya Stadium.
San Jose set an MLS record for most shots in a game with 43 against Vancouver. The previous record for most shots in a match was 38.
It was also the first match without head coach Matias Almeyda who was suspended for the match due to his ejection for arguing a non-call in the match this past Wednesday in the 4-0 loss to LAFC.
The win snaps their three-game losing streak and four-game overall winless streak. The victory also propelled them into fourth place in the Western Conference as they are tied with the Los Angeles Galaxy with 41 points. Vancouver is 2-2 in their last four games and sit in the cellar with 27 points.
“It was a big example of character”, said defenseman Shea Salinas on how the team responded without Almeyda being out there on the sidelines. “We have a bunch of leaders on this team. Every single guy that steps out there make sacrifices for the team and it showed tonight. It was an amazing performance.”
Vancouver (6-13-9) drew first blood for the Whitecaps in the seventh minute when Jakob Nerwinski received a ball along the right sideline from Theo Blair. Nerwinski dribbled past Vako and bent in a left footed shot into the lower left corner for his first goal of the season in an entertaining opening 10 minutes.
San Jose (12-10-5) countered immediately on the next possession. Captain Chris Wondolowski received a nice ball inside the box from 10 yards out from Christian Espinoza. He one-timed a pass over to Judson who fired a shot into the lower left corner of the goal that beat Whitecaps goalie Maxime Crepeau for his first goal of the season in the eighth minute.
“We knew we had to hit the reset button”, said Wondolowski. “No need to panic but at the same time iron out the details. It was good to get the three points.”
The Quakes dominated the first half from there on out and never looked back as they peppered Crepeau with shots all the way up to the halftime whistle blew. Crepeau amazingly kept the Whitecaps in the game stopping eight of the nine first half shots, including a right footed shot from Vako that was destined for the far corner of the goal only to have Crepeau get a hand on it at the last second, poured on by the home team.
In the 29th minute, Ali Adnan apparently tripped up Mangus Eriksson inside the box but referree Ramy Touchan allowed play to go and no penalty was called.
San Jose gained the lead in the 34th minute off a set piece. A corner kick by Eriksson serviced into the middle where Florian Jungworth’s header attempt deflected over to an open Wondolowski who one-timed a header into the back of the night for his team leading 11th goal of the season.
To say the Quakes controlled possession in the opening 45 minutes would be an understatement as they had a 80%-20% advantage.
In the second half, San Jose continued its exhibition against Vancouver creating numerous chances agianst the porous Whitecap defenese in the first 25 minutes of the half. However they weren’t able to cash in on any of them whether it not being able to finish their attempts or because of Crepeau’s wall of stone.
“To be honest I think we match up well with them (Vancouver)”, said Wondo. “Our style (of play) kind of helps us dictate the game against them.”
San Jose’s hard work paid off for them in the 73rd minute when Eriksson dribbled inside the box, then found a wide open Andres Rios, who came in as a substitute in the 70th minute for Vako, just outside from 20 yards out and his one-timer fired off the left goal post and into the back of the night for his first career MLS goal.
“I’m really happy”, said Rios. “It was my first goal at home. It’s an important victory for the team in our fight to get to the playoffs.”
Daniel Vega finished with two saves in a light night for the Quakes goal keeper. Crepeau, who was arguably the Whitecaps best player of the match, finished the evening with 14 saves on 16 shots on goal.
“43 shots on goal, you’d expect a few more goals,” Salinas joked about his team setting the league record. “He’s (Crepeau) been making saves like that all year. He’s a great goal keeper.”
GAME NOTES: San Jose had an astounding 16 corner kicks to only 1 for Vancouver. San Jose led in fouls 10-9.
San Jose is now 4-1-6 all time against Vancouver.
Carlos Fierro and Shea Salinas came in as subsitutions for Wondo and Espinoza in the 80th minute.
Jungworth was isssued a yellow card in the 31st minute for unsportmanlike conduct toward Touchan. Marco Lopez was also issued a yellow card in 72nd minute.
UP NEXT: The Quakes host Orlando City FC next Saturday, August 31 at 7:15 pm at Avaya Stadium.