It’s been a season of inconsistencies for the San Jose Earthquakes. But one thing that has been certain is that in San Jose, at Avaya Stadium, the Quakes are pretty close to unbeatable.
And they continued that trend Wednesday night thanks in large part to Tommy Thompson and Chris Wondolowski, who combined for a goal in the game’s 83rd minute to salvage a 1-1 draw.
In six home matches, the Earthquakes are 3-0-3.
The equalizer came less than three minutes after Carlos Rivas had put Orlando on top with a goal from inside the 18-yard box.
But it was then that head coach Dominic Kinnear reached to his bench for Thompson.
The late substitution paid off not too long after when a Jahmir Hyka corner found its way over to Thompson just outside the penalty area. The midfielder put the ball on frame and as it was going wide, Wondolowski was there to poke the ball home.
The goal was the fifth of the season for Wondolowski. It was also Thompson’s first point for the big club since signing San Jose’s first ever Homegrown Player contract.
David Bingham made a huge save on Brazilian international Kaka in stoppage time to keep the game drawn.
Turning point: You have to look to Kinnear’s substitution in the 82nd minute that brought on Thompson. The midfielder is known for his creativity on the ball, but had yet to turn that into production for the Quakes since signing his contract. On Wednesday, his first point could not have come at a bigger time. Thompson’s first point came in his 57th game with the club.
Man of the match: Bingham has played lights out at Avaya in 2017. And when the game opened up in the last 10 minutes, it was his save that kept on Kaka that preserved the unbeaten record at home and a much deserved point for the home squad.
Injury update: Quakes fans got some bad news before the start of Wednesday’s game when the team announced Harold Cummings, a big offseason acquisition at center back, is out of the season. The Costa Rican international suffered a foot injury while in his San Jose home. The blow is huge for the Quakes, who are already thin defensively.
Booked: Orlando: Leo Pereira (yellow, 25’); San Jose: Anibal Godoy (yellow, 44’), Marco Ureña (yellow, 62’), Nick Lima (yellow, 68’), Darwin Ceren (yellow, 70’).
Up next: The Earthquakes head to Texas to face FC Dallas on Saturday. While the Quakes are unbeaten at home, their fortunes change significantly on the road. They’ll try to turn that around against a tough Dallas team.