The San Jose Earthquakes couldn’t hold the lead against the Houston Dynamo at Pay Pal Park in San Jose in MLS action on Sun Jul 17, 2022 (@SJEarthquakes photo)
by Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE — In a battle of playoff hopefuls, the Houston Dynamo scored two goals in the second half to complete a 2-1 comeback victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday evening at Pay Pal Park.
San Jose had its three-match unbeaten streak snapped. Houston, with the win, have points in two of its last three matches.
Possession was even in the first half as both teams weren’t able to generate many scoring chances.
San Jose (5-8-7-22 points) had two shots on target in the opening 45 minutes. In the 13th minute, Benji Kikanovic set up Cristian Espinoza for a shot, but his attempt was grabbed by Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark.
Then late in the half in the 41st minute, Clark came up big when he knocked a rocket of a shot by Paul Marie from 20 yards out over the net for a corner kick.
Houston (7-10-4-25 points) did not generate a shot on target against Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski in the first half.
San Jose drew first blood in the 53rd minute. Off a set piece, Tommy Thompson’s header hit off the top of the crossbar and ‘Quakes captain Jackson Yueill cleaned up the rebound with a right footed shot past Clark for his fourth goal of the season.
Houston took advantage of Marie’s turnover inside San Jose’s zone in the 71st minute. Fafà Picault picked the ball from Marie, then centered a pass over to Sebastián Ferreira who kicked in a right-footed shot for his co-team leading seventh goal of the season.
“I think the mistake [on the first goal] was an individual mistake, and on the second goal we had to keep the ball out when there wasn’t a clear moment to build up, and that’s it. I don’t think it was because we were building up in the back that Houston had those opportunities. I think we committed individual mistakes and that’s why it’s a very simple analysis today,” interim head coach Alex Covelo said.
The save of the match belonged to fullback Tim Parker. In the 73rd minute, the Earthquakes thought they had regained the lead just over two minutes later when Jeremy Ebossise had the ball inside the box staring at an empty net. Ebobisse’s attempt was blocked away by Parker with a sliding save right along the goal line.
The Dynamo gained their first lead of the match in the 76th minute after the ‘Quakes failed to clear the ball out of their own zone. Darwin Quintero found Thorleifur Úlfarsson in the center of the box and he beat Marcinkowski with a left-footed shot to the far corner of the net for his fourth goal of the season.
San Jose had one final chance to score the equalizer on the match’s final play off of a corner kick. However, Nathan’s header attempt sailed wide left of the net.
“I just forget this game,” said Jamiro Monteiro. “It already happened. We lost. Now we’re onto next week. We still have 14 games. Tomorrow is a new day. We have a new week, new chances. Every week is a new chance for us.”
Clark finished the match with four saves on five shots to earn the victory. Marcinkowski made two saves on four shots in the losing effort.
GAME NOTES: San Jose finished the match with eight corner kicks. Houston had seven.
The ‘Quakes were without fullback Marcos Lopez who was suspended for the match due to yellow card accumulation.
San Jose is 9-16-4 all time against Houston.
San Jose had its four-home match (W2 D2) unbeaten streak against Houston that dated back to 2017. Their four-match run was San Jose’s longest home unbeaten run against the Dynamo in MLS play.
The Dynamo snapped its four-game losing streak on the road. They are 4-14 from home dating back to last August.
After his right-footed goal in San Jose’s 3-2 win over the Galaxy on Wednesday, Ebobisse has now scored 10 goals with his right foot in MLS. Since 2019, Ebobisse is the only MLS player with double-digit goals with each of his right foot, his left foot and his head.
UP NEXT: San Jose hosts a friendly against Spanish La Liga team RC Celta De Vigo on Wednesday 7/20 at Pay Pal Park at 7:15pm. They return to MLS action against the Portland Timbers on Saturday 7/23 at 7:30pm at Providence Park.