San Jose Earthquakes Benji Kikanovic attempted a shot against Toronto FC in a 0-0 draw at Pay Pal Park on MAR 25, 2023. (Jose Rocha/Tectanoic Takes)
by Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Earthquakes earned a point against Toronto FC as both teams ended their match with a 0-0 draw on Saturday evening at Pal Pay Park.
San Jose has points in two of its past three matches. Toronto FC has earned points in four of its five first matches.
San Jose (2-2-1) head coach Luchi Gonzalez was forced to tweak his starting 11 as Jamiro Monteiro was out on international duty and Carlos Gruezo out with an injury. Benji Kinkanovic and Michael Baldisimo made their first starts of the season.
“I mean we’ve had our challenges with injuries and also missing guys. So definitely both Toronto and us had challenges in that regard. But I am happy with some of the things we created in terms of our expected goals. We definitely created enough chances to score at least a goal. We defended very well collectively and individually, shutting down a few of their key guys and that’s important. If we can have an effort like that, consistently, defensively, things will bounce our way offensively I believe in our process,” Gonzalez said.
The Quakes controlled the majority of the possession in the opening 45 minutes but were a tad off here and there on passes deep inside Toronto’s zone that prevented them from having a shot on target.
The closest Toronto FC (1-1-3) threatened to put a dent in the scoreboard in the first came in the seventh minute when Deandre Kerr’s right footed shot from the center of the box was knocked away by Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski.
“In the first half we couldn’t connect with each other, but I think that was because in the first half teams normally come with a lot of energy,” said Quakes forward Christian Espinoza regarding the teams chances. “We knew that in the second half they were going to drop that energy, so that we could create more chances to score. That is what happened on the field, but today we couldn’t connect on a couple of crosses and the chances that we had. But we are happy with this point and clean sheet, and we have to keep going.”
San Jose’s Rodrigues had two quality headers in a two-minute off set pieces in span from the 54th minute to the 56th that went just wide of the net of Toronto FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
Toronto FC played more of the same defensive style in the second half with as it only generated two shots on goal.
The Quakes had it chance for a game winning goal in the second minute of stoppage time in the second half when Jackson Yueill’s low line drive shot was saved by an outstretched Johnson. Tommy Thompson had a chance to clean up the rebound with Johnson down on the ground but his mistimed his attempt and fell to the ground without getting off a shot.
Both Marcinkowski and Johnson were credited with two saves in each earning a clean sheet.
GAME NOTES: San Jose finished with six corner kicks. Toronto FC had three.
San Jose has earned 7+ points from their first three home matches for the first time since 2017.
The Quakes have conceded one total goal across the three home matches and have an active 253-minute shutout streak at PayPal Park.
San Jose is now 6-5-8 all-time vs. Toronto FC, including a 3-2-4 record at home. With the draw, the Quakes extended their unbeaten streak against Toronto to five matches (1-0-4) dating back to 2018. San Jose’s last home loss vs. Toronto came in 2010.
The attendance at Pay Pal Park was 12,434.
UP NEXT: San Jose host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday 4/1 at 7:30pm at Pay Pal Park.