photo from centredaily.com: San Jose Earthquakes’ Guram Kashia (37) Toronto FC’s fouls Marky Delgado (8) during the second half of an MLS soccer game in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020.
by Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE, Calif- The San Jose Earthquakes wanted to upgrade their backfield so they went out and acquired Mexican national Oswaldo Alanis. He paid immediate dividens as he scored a spectacular goal right near the end of stoppage time to seize victory away from Toronto FC in a 2-2 draw on Saturday afternoon at Earthquakes season.
The center back, on loan from Chivas de Guadalajara for a year and occupies the Quakes international spot on the roster, had a free kick from 20 yards out on the right side. His shot sailed high into the upper left corner of the goal stunning Toronto FC and sending the home crowd into a frenzy in the season opener for both teams.
“I know Alanis. It’s not the first goal he’s scored from a free kick. I think he played 95 good minutes with a certain personality. He was enthusiastic and he showed why we brought him on (to the team),” Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda said about Alanis’ heroics.
Toronto FC (0-0-1) drew first blood in the 40th minute thanks to a controversey call by referee Armando Villarreal. With Toronto FC positioned for a corner kick, Jozy Altidore was taken down inside the box by Andres Rios before the kick and Toronto was awarded a penalty kick.
Alejandro Pozuelo easily buried the ball past Quakes goalkeeper Daniel Vega for his first goal of the season.
San Jose (0-0-1) had two quality chances to score in the first half. In the 27th minute, Nick Lima’s shot from 15 yards out was deflected away at last second by Toronto FC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg. Then in the 43rd minute, Danny Hoesen dribbled in from inside the D when his shot sailed just to the left of the goal.
Toronto FC dobuled its lead six minutes into the second half. Pozuelo led an counter-attack as he passed the ball out to Tsubasa Endoh. Endoh’s shot was kicked out by Vega, but Ritchie Laryea, who subbed in to start the second half, cleaned up the rebound for his first goal of the season and a 2-0 lead in the 51st minute.
The Quakes fired back two minutes later in the 53rd minute. Christian Espinzoa centered a pass from the right side of the D that was chipped in over Westberg by a sliding Rios in for his first goal of the season.
“I thought it was great character to show some fight. It’s never good to go down 2-0. Especially the response after the (Toronto’s) second goal,” forward Chris Wondolowski said.
The game featured sloppiness by both sides and missed calls by the officiating that seemed to favor Toronto FC that had many of the Quakes players as well as Almeyda frustrated throughout the match.
Alanis’ goal saved the Quakes from a disappointing start to the season as they had started out 0-4 last year.
“I hope there will be many more (goals like that) as I try to do my best. I’m a defender but I can bring some things offensively to the team,” said Alanis.
GAME NOTES: San Jose registered 11 shots. Toronto FC had 10.
San Jose had three corner kicks. Toronto FC has seven.
Cautions-Tommy Thompson was issued a yellow card in the 33rd minute for a tackle from behind. Jackson Yueill was also issued a yellow card in the 70th minute. Altidore was issued a yellow card in the 71st minute. Goram Kashia was issued a yellow card in the 81st minute.
UP NEXT: The Earthquakes take on the Minnesota United FC on Saturday 3/7 at 4:45pm at Earthquakes Stadium.