Instant Replay: Quakes hit bottom in latest home loss


Instant Replay: Quakes hit bottom in latest home loss


It feels like the playoff window for the San Jose Earthquakes has been closing at an excruciating slow pace the last couple of matches.

But on Saturday, following a 2-1 loss at Avaya Stadium, Sporting Kansas City may have just emphatically slammed it shut.

Needing a win to put pressure on sixth place Kansas City, the Quakes surrendered an 81st minute corner kick goal to Kevin Ellis and the visitors held on during the final stretch for the win.

"It's killer, to be honest with you," said San Jose head coach Dominic Kinnear. "With (Kansas City) now being nine points ahead ... we have to put together a run of wins that we haven't done this year." 

That is true. The Earthquakes have only won back-to-back games once this season -- and that came in games one and two.

With the loss, San Jose stays in ninth place in the Western Conference -- now seven points behind the red playoff line with five games left on their regular season schedule. 

The Quakes, who desperately needed a win to keep hope alive, haven’t won a match since Aug. 12 at Vancouver and haven’t won at home since July 16.

Dominic Dwyer opened the scoring about a minute after Quincy Amarikwa was carried off the field with a knee injury. Dwyer scored on a header in the seventh minute.

San Jose pulled that goal back when substitute Henok Goitom laid off a cheeky back heel to Simon Dawkins who tapped the ball over the goal line for the equalizer in the 42nd minute following a flicked header by Victor Bernardez.

But that would be all the offense San Jose could muster despite being the aggressors in the second half and throughout the match. The Quakes outshot Kansas City 16-6 and benefitted from eight more corner kicks. 

"It's going to take a monumental effort," Kinnear said about San Jose's remaining playoff chances. "It's a pretty crushing result tonight." 

The loss drops San Jose to 7-9-13; tied for fewest wins in the Western Conference. 

Hot seat: A couple of weeks removed from the firing of general manager John Doyle, Kinnear was asked if he's feeling the pressure as his Quakes are on the verge of missing the playoffs for a second consecutive season under his command. "It's in the front of my mind," he said. "I'm trying to win games ... I'm not happy. If you think I just take it lightly, then you have no idea who I am. It's in the very front of my mind."

Attendance: Reported attendance at Avaya Stadium was 18,000. However, missing from the crowd were the San Jose Ultras -- the Earthquakes' main supporter group.

Up next: With the season in the balance, the Quakes have a middle-of-the-week match against the Montreal Impact on Wednesday in Canada. 

Behind teenage phenom, France win second World Cup title


Behind teenage phenom, France win second World Cup title

MOSCOW — Kylian Mbappe and France put on a thrilling show in winning the World Cup title. All Russian President Vladimir Putin might remember is the Pussy Riot protest.

The 19-year-old Mbappe became only the second teenager after Pele to score in a World Cup final, helping France beat Croatia 4-2 on Sunday.

Mbappe had just shown his electrifying speed in the 52nd minute when play was held up by four protesters who ran onto the field in the second half. Russian punk band Pussy Riot later took credit for the incident — watched from the VIP seats by Putin, whose government once jailed members of the activist group.

About 12 minutes after play resumed, Mbappe sent a right-footed shot past Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic.

The only other teen to score in a World Cup final was Pele, who was 17 when Brazil beat Sweden 5-2 in 1958.

Mbappe, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain in the French league, was born months after France first won its only other World Cup title in 1998.

Putin was later on the field during a downpour to award medals to the players. FIFA president Gianni Infantino then handed France captain Hugo Lloris the World Cup trophy.

Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, France’s two other key players, also scored at the Luzhniki Stadium.

But it was Mbappe who put the match out of reach with a furious passage of play in the second half. In the 59th, a run from Mbappe started a play that ended up with Pogba on the edge of the penalty area. With his second attempt, the midfielder curled his shot beyond Subasic.

Mbappe then scored himself, his fourth of the tournament, to make it 4-1.

Griezmann scored from the penalty spot in the 38th minute after a video review. About four minutes after his corner kick was knocked out of play, the referee ruled Ivan Perisic had handled the ball on the way.

France took the lead in the 18th when Croatia’s tallest outfield player, 1.90-meter (6-foot-3) forward Mario Mandzukic, rose to meet Griezmann’s free kick with the top of his head. He inadvertently sent it past his own goalkeeper.

Perisic and Mandzukic both scored for Croatia, first to equalize in the 28th minute and later as a consolation goal in the 69th, embarrassing Lloris with a flicked shot as the France goalkeeper tried to dribble the ball out of his goalmouth.

France coach Didier Deschamps became only the third man to win the World Cup as a player and a coach. Mario Zagallo of Brazil and Franz Beckenbauer of Germany are the others.

Quakes fall to Impact for second straight loss


Quakes fall to Impact for second straight loss


MONTREAL -- Saphir Taider and Ignacio Piatti scored as the Montreal Impact cruised to a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.

Evan Bush had two saves to earn his seventh clean sheet of the season for Montreal (9-12-0), which extended its winning streak at home to five games.

Montreal bounced back after a 3-0 loss in New York on Wednesday. It was the Impact's fifth win in the past six games.

The Earthquakes (2-11-6) are now winless in their last 10 matches (0-6-4) dating back to May 12.

Taider gave Montreal the lead in the eighth minute. The 26-year-old got a pass from Piatti in the box and settled the bouncing ball with his right foot before firing a shot into the corner of the net with his left. San Jose defender Shea Salinas gave Taider too much space on the play and the Impact midfielder made the visitors pay with his fourth goal of the season.

Piatti sealed the win with his 10th goal of the year in the 74th minute.

Tensions were high between Earthquakes coach Mikael Stahre and a few of his players. Stahre removed starter Anibal Godoy from the game in the 41st minute. Godoy, with no apparent injury, walked straight to the dressing room. His replacement, Fatai Alashe, played four minutes before being subbed off at halftime. Alashe and Stahre got into a screaming match on the sideline.