San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Jamiro Monteiro looks to pass the ball during the match at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday Aug 27, 2022. (San Jose Earthquakes)
by Marko Ukalovic
A familiar result in a place that has been harsh for the San Jose Earthquakes.
Sporting Kansas City scored early in the first half and held on for a 1-0 shutout victory over the ‘Quakes on Saturday evening at Children’s Mercy Park.
San Jose is winless in seven of its last eight matches. Sporting KC has won three out of its last four matches.
Sporting KC (8-15-5-29 points) has points in 12 out of its past 13 (8W, 4D) matches against San Jose, including 14 of the past 17 at Children’s Mercy Park.
In their last four matches, Sporting KC has scored 10 goals in the first half during that stretch.
Dániel Sallói was at the right place at the right time during a clearing attempt by Paul Marie in the 10th minute. Roger Espinoza started the play with a cross into the middle of the box where Marie deflected the ball right onto the foot of Sallói who fired a shot into the right corner for his sixth goal of the season.
San Jose (6-12-9-27 points) had a golden opportunity to get on the board in the fifth minute. Benji Kikanovic sprung Jeremy Ebobisse on a breakaway. Ebobisse’s shot attempt was intended for the far left corner but sailed wide of the net.
“We had an opportunity from Cristian Espinoza, Jeremy [Ebobisse] had an opportunity, a set piece was another one and then we had another from Cade [Cowell] where Jebo [Jeremy Ebobisse] couldn’t get to it. It was an interesting game and I believe we did all we could do to win the game,” interim head coach Alex Covelo said.
Sporting KC took control of the second half as they had the pitch tilted inside the ‘Quakes zone for the majority of the half by creating numerous scoring chances only to have ‘Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski keep the ball out of the net.
The home team thought they had doubled their lead in the 58th minute when Graham Zusi floated in a cross to an unmarked Nicolas Isimat-Mirin who one touched the ball into the back of the net. However, after a VAR review, the play was determined offsides.
San Jose had a chance for the equalizer in the 82nd when they were awarded a free kick just outside the box. However, Ebobisse’s attempt went beyond the net to the left side past an outstretched Sporting KC goalkeeper John Pulskamp.
“At this point in the season, anything besides three points is really frustrating. We obviously know that we only have seven games left now. I think this was a big opportunity tonight but then there’s another one next Sunday against Vancouver,” Marcinkowski said.
Pulskamp was a perfect four for four to earn his first clean sheet of the season. Pulskamp has started the past five matches in place of injured Tim Melia. Marcinkowski made a season high seven saves on eight shots in the losing effort.
Oskar Aegren started at center back for San Jose in place of Nathan who was suspended for the match due to yellow card accumulation. It was Aegren’s third appearance for San Jose.
GAME NOTES: San Jose finished with two corner kicks. Sporting KC had four.
San Jose is now 25-29-10 all-time vs. Sporting KC, including an 8-22-2 record on the road.
The Earthquakes are now 6-8-6 in MLS play under Covelo.
Midfielder Jamiro Monteiro made his 100th MLS appearance (75 w/ PHI, 25 w/ SJ), and played the entire 90 minutes.
Seventeen-year-old rookie midfielder Niko Tsakiris made his fifth career appearance, entering the match as a substitute in the 73rd minute.
Tommy Thompson played in 178th games for San Jose, which ranks fourth all-time in franchise history.
UP NEXT: San Jose returns home to host the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday 9/4 at 6:30pm at Pay Pal Park.