VANCOUVER, B.C - The Vancouver Whitecaps had previously never come away with a road win against the San Jose Earthquakes, and that did not change on Saturday night. Despite taking an early 2-0 first half lead, San Jose came back to steal a 3-2 win in front of 18,000 fans at Avaya Stadium.
Erik Hurtado, and Chris Wondolowski both had a goal, and an assist. David Ousted was issued a red card in the 23' minute, which allowed San Jose a life line. The Earthquakes slowly and surely got back into the match, Vancouver never re-grouped with 10-men.
"First 20 minutes of the game we were excellent in our play," said Carl Robinson. "Thought the approach to the game, we played on the front foot, and we got two goals that we thoroughly deserved. It seemed from that moment on, then the game changed with that turning point. Outstanding in the first 20 minutes the way we played football, and the way we pressed. I've got to credit the work they've put in for 75-plus minutes in the end, as well."
The Opening 45
Vancouver came out flying and look determined to take all three points from the Earthquakes. Santa Clara University graduate, Erik Hurtado split Victor Bernardez, and Florian Jungwirth before delivering a sublime half volley past Earthquakes keeper, David Bingham. It was a quick start for Vancouver just two minutes into the match.
"The ball went up," said Hurtado. "I was battling for it with the centre-back, and got a little nudge and it landed to me, so I just tried to put it on target."
The visitors kept coming as San Jose's back-line was out of sorts. Erik Hurtado found Nicolas Mezquida in a maze of Earthquakes defenders inside the box. The Uruguayan, turned a found the back of the net. It was quickly 2-0 Vancouver in the 17' minute.
San Jose got some momentum back when Vancouver keeper, David Ousted was issued a straight red card by referee, Drew Fischer. Christian Dean and Kendall Waston both went up for an over the top ball, they missed. Ousted found himself 1v1 Chris Wondolowski, and the striker was tripped up. Goalkeeper, Paolo Tornaghi, entered the match for Mezquida.
The Caps were forced to play the final 65' minutes of the match down to 10-men. The Earthquakes could smell blood, and they quickly turned up pressure on the Caps. San Jose was able to nick back a goal in the 32' minute thanks to a familiar Whitecaps FC foe.
Chris Wondolowski connected on a cross from Bernardez. Christian Dean was unable to cover the pass into the box. Vancouver was scrambling, and Wondolowski poached an unmarked goal behind Paolo Tornaghi to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Vancouver went into the interval clinging to a 2-1 advantage. They started out like gang-busters, but San Jose gained momentum after Ousted was sent off. The Earthquakes held an astonishing 79% - 21% possession advantage.
The Second Half
The San Jose barrage of offensive pressure continued as Dominic Kinnear had his team looking for an early equalizer. The Earthquakes continued to control the match as Vancouver was bunkered in their own half.
Rookie full-back, Nick Lima connected on a volley in the 54' minute to tie the match 2-2. Chris Wondolowski was in prime position to shoot, but he decided to set up Lima. The 22 year-old was unmarked and had all sorts of time and space to find the net, behind Tornaghi.
Not wanting to drop a result to San Jose, Carl Robinson made a pair of substitutions in the 61' minute. Christian Bolanos, and Fredy Montero came on for Kekuta Manneh, and Erik Hurtado. Vancouver needed to find offence as San Jose was looking to take the lead.
The Whitecaps just couldn't keep the Earthquakes from find the go ahead goal. San Jose was a determined, and focused team. Vancouver's young squad was on the back foot, and San Jose took the lead in the 79' minute.
For the second week in a row, Anibal Godoy delivered an absolute screamer from distance. The Panamanian sent a cracker from outside the box, past Tornaghi. The Caps keeper had no chance, as Godoy let go a rocket of a shot that no keeper was going to stop.
Vancouver started strong, but David Ousted getting sent off did them in. The Caps never could recover, and San Jose knew that. The Earthquakes took their time, and got back in the match. Vancouver couldn't keep the ball out of the net, and San Jose was in fine form.
Man of the Match
Hurtado opened the scoring for Vancouver and was a positive bright spot for Vancouver. Hurtado also set up Nicolas Mesquida's tally and looked ever so dangerous as the Caps lone striker. Vancouver supporters have expected a lot from Hurtado. This could be a sign that Hurtado is ready to rise up as a top performer.
Vancouver Whitecaps Starting XI: David Ousted; Jordan Harvey, Christian Dean, Kendall Waston(C), Jake Nerwinski; Ben McKendry, Russell Teibert; Kekuta Manneh, 61 (Christian Bolanos) Nicolas Mezquida, 25 (Paolo Tornaghi), Cristian Techera; Erik Hurtado, 61 (Fredy Montero). 4-2-3-1.
San Jose Earthquakes Starting XI: David Bingham; Nick Lima, Victor Bernardez, Florian Jungwirth, Shaun Francis; Tommy Thompson, 46 (Jahmir Hyka), Fatai Alashe, 75 (Shea Salinas), Anibal Godoy, Simon Dawkins; Marco Urena, 80 (Danny Hoesen), Chris Wondolowski(C). 4-4-2
Notes: Whitecaps FC's Ben McKendry, and Jake Nerwinski made their MLS debuts.