photo from sjearthquakes.com
By Pearl Allison Lo
San Jose went into Atlanta Saturday, went down a man, Coach Matías Almeyda was ejected again and Captain Chris Wondolowski received a red card from the bench as another Bay Area team entered a “sea of red” and emerged with a loss.
The Quakes remain winless versus Atlanta United as their road game losing streak stretched to six as they faced the second place team in the Eastern Conference this time.
San Jose’s Cristian Espinoza’s run which tied the game was sandwiched in between two yellow cards to him as well, putting the Quakes down a man in the 34th minute.
With just a game in between free, Almeyda was forced to leave the game again late in the match.
Wondolowski received his penalty from the bench in 91st minute in between Atlanta goals for a foul and abusive language.
An added note to Espinoza’s run, it ended up being an own goal by keeper Brad Guzan, that came after fellow keeper Daniel Vega sent a rainbow from his side to Espinoza.
A different Bay Area team that was also involved with an own goal recently, happened in the hockey world versus red-clad fans in the stands too. The last goal of the San Jose Sharks game Wednesday was an own goal by the Sharks, which was credited to the Calgary Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau.
Returning back to soccer, the game started with the Quakes going down early after Justin Meram scored in the fourth minute. The ball was helped by a deflection off defender Florian Jungwirth on the way into the net.
Espinoza’s first card came in the 16th minute for interfering with the throw-in
The second yellow and subsequent red came after a tussle with Franco Escobar.
Atlanta’s Emerson Hyndman had an opportune chance in the 46th minute, especially with a defensive breakdown, but missed to the left.
Besides the obvious uphill battle, ended up being outshot 4-0 in the first half after four minutes of stoppage time. Atlanta had the slight possession edge 51.3% to 48.7%
It was quiet and even in the second half at first with Gonzalo Martínez having one attempt saved, the other missed, teammate Brandon Vázquez’s attempt saved and San Jose substitute Danny Hoesen’s attempt saved.
Then Atlanta took a hit in the second half when Josef Martínez (who did not have a shot in the game) was found on the sidelines twice and eventually pulled off on a stretcher because of presumably his knee. His MLS goal-scoring streak had been active since May 24 for 15 games. Martínez’s substitute Mohammed Adams took his place in the 79th minute.
Martínez’s teammates then amped up their play. Leandro González, Vázquez and Julian Gressel had misses in the 79th through 81st minutes before Vega stepped up with saves versus Hyndman, Darlington Nagbe and Miles Robinson in the 82nd, 84th and 85th minutes.
It would be too much though as the Quakes’ chances dissolved when Hyndman scored a redemption goal in the 90th minute, Wondolowski got his red card for perhaps the first time in his 300th MLS start and Martínez made it 3-2 in the 92nd minute.
San Jose substitute Andrés Ríos made two more attempts, which were saved and blocked as did Gressel and Adams (both saved) before the final whistle was blown.
Atlanta finished with 18 shots (Hyndman and Martínez four shots apiece) to the Quakes’ three and with 60.7% possession.
Up Next: Despite key pieces missing now, San Jose will look to right the ship when they host the Philadelphia Union Wednesday at 8 pm for the first of a two-game homestand.