For the second week in a row, the San Jose Earthquakes rescued a home draw with a stoppage-time equalizer, an exhilarating habit reminiscent of their Goonie-era squad of 2012.
Ah, shoot. That was last weekend’s headline. It’s easy to get mixed up these days.
The Quakes have made an unusually consistent habit of late comebacks this season, with Chris Wondolowski scoring an eighty-third-minute equalizer to salvage a 1-1 draw Dominic Kinnear’s men against Orlando City FC, their third in their last four matches at Avaya Stadium. Wednesday night’s match was in many ways a repeat of their ties against FC Dallas and the Seattle Sounders, only slightly less entertaining.
“Scoring a goal never gets old,” said captain Chris Wondolowski. “I do really enjoy that. I wish it was a game-winner instead of just tying. It’s good to get a point but we feel they were points dropped here just because we’re at home.”
Coach Dominic Kinnear was more critical in his analysis, berating a lackluster opening eighty minutes of play.
“I thought this was the first game at home that we haven’t put a solid attacking performance. We were hoping to rebound from the 3-0 Colorado game to get something good. Obviously, we had a feeling that [Orlando City SC head coach] Jason [Kreis] was going to rest some players, which he obviously did. We just couldn’t get going. I think we were a little bit off all over the field, in the attacking areas, I think it was just an off night for us.”
Forward Cyle Larin was a consistently dangerous aerial threat for Orlando in the box, heading narrowly over in the tenth minute and forcing David Bingham into a scrambling save from another powerful header shortly thereafter. Orlando Joe Bendik made an equally fantastic stop to deny Jahmir Hyka’s free-kick at full stretch, but the Quakes were disappointing blunt up top.
Victor Giro curled onto the crossbar for Orlando from long distance, but the second half began with negligible action at the goalmouth. The match didn’t open up until the eightieth minute when Giro crossed into the middle for an unmarked Carlos Rivas to bury from the center of the box.
The goal was a shock to the system for San Jose, who responded with an archetypal comeback goal just three minutes later as Chris Wondolowski converted from Tommy Thompson’s whiffed shot at the far post.
It was Thompson’s first assist in Major League Soccer play, an important milestone for the young midfielder. “It’s been a long time coming, but I’m glad it fell to Wondo tonight,” said Thompson. “I’m hoping to build on that and get more assists moving forward. There have been a couple of opportunities where I thought I would get an assist, but soccer isn’t always fair. It felt good to get the monkey off my back tonight.”
Wondolowski was also complimentary of his Thompson but his overall message was more reserved. “We don’t want to rely on late goals,” he said. “When we get off to a good start and find a goal early, we tend to play with a little bit better and more confident and dictate the game a little bit better. We find it a lot better than chasing the game, so we have to make sure we do that.”