For the second season in a row, the San Jose Earthquakes are off to an undefeated start after a pair of games.
The Quakes (2-0-0) overcame a very slow start but scored two second-half goals to beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-2 Saturday night at Avaya Stadium. Anibal Godoy scored the game-winner in the 79th minute -- his second of the season.
The Earthquakes defense got off to a slow start and the Whitecaps' intention of pressing high from the onset worked to perfection when, in the second minute, a miscue from Florian Jungwirth led to an Erik Hurtado goal.
The lapse in communication between Jungwirth and fellow centerback Victor Bernardez reared it ugly head again just 15 minutes later -- once more costing San Jose on the score sheet. This time, Nicolas Mezquida capitalized on a low cross that sat between the two central defenders in the 18. Mezquida's quick reaction and ability to poke the ball netted him a goal and a 2-0 lead for the guests.
But the Quakes got their first big break in the 23rd minute when a breakaway opportunity for Chris Wondolowski forced Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted to play sweeper and clip the captain some 22 yards from goal. The referee was quick to reach for his pocket and sent Ousted to an early shower with a red card.
Up a man, San Jose pressed, and on one of its eight first-half corners, capitalized when Bernardez sent a ball across the box to Wondolowski, who half-volleyed a ball home in the 32nd minute for his first goal of the season and 118th of his career.
It took the Quakes nine minutes into the second half to equalize and it was San Jose's Homegrown player who leveled things up. His rocket of a shot was set up beautifully by Wondolowski, who laid a ball off for the defender inside the 18 and the Cal product made the most of the opportunity for his first MLS goal and first for a Homegrown player in franchise history.
The comeback would be complete in the 79th minute when Godoy fired from 25 yards out with his left foot for yet another Goal-of-the-Week-contending strike. The shot knuckled and gave the Vancouver keeper zero chance at a save.
Man of the Match:
After being shutout in Week 1, Wondolowski made his presence felt on Saturday. And as it has been the case for some time now, as the captain goes, so do the Quakes. Against the Whitecaps, Wondolowski scored the 115th goal of his Quakes career. Then, he was the main contributor to Lima’s first goal as a professional footballer. It was quite a sight after that goal when, in a moment of pure euphoria, the defender sprinted over to his captain and embraced him in gratitude.
Ousted’s red card changed the complexion of the game. Up until that moment, there is little argument that Vancouver was in control. Down a man and up two goals, the Whitecaps had no choice but to defend and that opened up chance after chance for the Quakes – of which San Jose converted the three they needed.
New Quakes watch:
Lima's goal for the highlight of the evening. His goal became the first from a Homegrown Player for San Jose in their franchise's history. He is the second such player for the Quakes, with Tommy Thompson still waiting for his time to shine in the goal column.
Jahmir Hyka also merits praise. The new Quakes midfielder came in as a substitute at half time and picked up two assists.
Vancouver: Russell Teibert (yellow, 15th), Ousted (red, 23rd), Christian Dean (yellow, 89th); San Jose: Fatai Alashe (yellow, 7th)
The Quakes hit the road for a tough showdown with Sporting KC. The March 18 contest is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff.