Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Despite 21 attempts on goal, 14 corner kicks, and nearly 58 percent of the possession, the San Jose Earthquakes nearly lost.
It took a second-half goal from substitute Cordell Cato to even the scoreline as the Earthquakes played Chivas USA to a 2-2 tie on Saturday night at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Three of the night’s goals were scored in an eleven minute span between the first and second halves.
The ever-reliable Chris Wondolowski got the Earthquakes on the scoreboard in the 40th minute, stealing in behind the Chivas defense off a Shea Salinas free kick and scoring into the far post on the volley. It was Wondolowski’s fourth goal of the season and the start of things to come.
Just two minutes after halftime, Chivas tied the match up when Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch gifted the Goats with a goal, with Mario de Luna getting the final touch on the ball before it went across the line. Busch blocked a bullet cross from winger Jorge Villafaña right to de Luna in the six yard box, who could do little but score.
In the 51st minute, Chivas took the lead. The Goats used the left side again as Villafaña sent in a low cross that found forward Tristan Bowen on the far side of the box. Bowen’s left footed strike may have fooled Busch, but it didn’t matter because it went into the back of the net and gave Chivas an important lead.
With tempers flaring and Martin Chavez’s fitness still working it’s way up, Earthquakes manager Frank Yallop decided to bring on Adam Jahn for Steven Lenhart and Cato for Chavez to re-invigorate the Earthquakes attack by the 70th minute.
In the 76th minute, the substitutions were beginning to look like the right move. Salinas was set free down the left flank, and crossed into the box where Cato had run all the way from the right wing into the middle of the box, and finished the opportunity. It was the left winger’s second assist in the game, and for Cato it was his first career Major League Soccer goal.
The final 15 minutes of the match were filled with chance after chance for both teams, forcing both Dan Kennedy and Jon Busch into making saves in high pressure situations. Wondolowski finished with seven shots, but just one on target, while Jahn in 20 minutes of action had three shots on target. Bowen lead Chivas with two shots on goal.
Here are the game highlights: