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Hoesen brace helps lift Quakes past Kansas City

Danny Hoesen continued his scintillating home form for the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night, bagging a first-half brace and leading the way to a 4-1 home victory over Sporting Kansas City.

The first half followed the form of San Jose’s last home game against the Portland Timbers, a 3-0 win. Two early goals in the first 12 minutes gave San Jose a commanding lead before the visitors could even get acclimated.

This story has been updated with quotes and additional material from the Earthquakes dressing room.

The first goal came in the 6th minute. At about center field midfielder Anibal Godoy received a pass from center back Florian Jungwirth, spotted a runner, and hoofed a ball over the top for striker Hoesen.

Hoesen chested the ball down in the box, battled two defenders until he was able to control the ball and slot home a calm, right-footed shot for his second goal of the season.

On the goal, Godoy said:

“We knew that when their team played with a high line. Danny knows how to make movements so we could make a pass to him. We interpreted the game plan very well.”

Six minutes later Hoesen secured the bag and his brace on a similar pass over the top, but had a little more work to do. This time it was midfielder Jackson Yueill who supplied the service. Hoesen would catch up to the ball, take two touches, cut back and ricochet the ball off the keeper, into a Sporting defender and then into the net. The score was 2-0 in less than 15 minutes.

Man of the match Hoesen said:

“I felt free, the coaches always have confidence in me. If this system works and we get the freedom needed to play it’s a lot of fun and you see people smiling on the field and working for each other.”

On Hoesen’s performance, head coach Matias Almeyda said:

“We had to convince him that he’s a complete player and that’s the way he should play. Play convinced that he can score a lot of goals. Not only did he play well attacking but he played well defensively.”

The Quakes defense looked tight at home again. Their only mistake that led to a scoring chance came after center back Florian Jungwirth ran straight into the back of Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio in the box, awarding tbe Wiz a penalty kick. Striker Krisztian Nemeth stepped up for the kick but skied the ball over the crossbar and into the top deck.

Ching Wong/SFBay San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Cristian Espinoza (10) challenges the ball against Sporting Kansas City forward Gerso Fernandes (12) in the first half of an MLS soccer match at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif., on Saturday, April 20, 2019. (Ching Wong/SFBay)

Up to that point, three penalties had been awarded against San Jose this campaign, and they’ve all failed. Goalkeeper Daniel Vega has made a save, had one shot go off the post, and the one that missed the entire frame today.

If it was at all possible, the great start to the first half was upstaged by an even better start to the second. Right at the restart, the Quakes ran directly towards the visitor’s goal. Winger Shea Salinas eventually found himself on the left side of the box and scooped a curler into the top right corner for the third goal of the night just thirteen seconds into the half.

Ching Wong/SFBay San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Shea Salinas (6) drives the ball against Sporting Kansas City defender Abdul Rwatubyaye (3) in the second half of an MLS soccer match at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif., on Saturday, April 20, 2019. (Ching Wong/SFBay)

On the goal, coach Almeyda said:

“We practiced that and luckily it worked out well. More than anything we tried to keep scoring when we were ahead. That’s the dedication I ask of them.”

Shea Salinas, who wore the captain’s armband Saturday, said:

“We practiced that yesterday. It worked out and that was amazing. I wanted to go celebrate with Matias but he was too far away.”

The domination continued into the 60th minute, when Magnus Eriksson got on the board. Eriksson and full back Nick Lima tried a quick one-two pass action in the opposition box. The pass wouldn’t reach its intended target, but was deflected right back to Eriksson’s foot, and before the defense could shift their attention, the Quakes number seven rolled the ball into the bottom right corner.

Ching Wong/SFBay San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Daniel Vega (17) and San Jose Earthquakes defender Nick Lima (24) celebrate after a 4-1 win over the Sporting Kansas City in an MLS soccer match at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif., on Saturday, April 20, 2019. (Ching Wong/SFBay)

Nick Lima made his return to the starting line up but at left-back in place of Marcos Lopez, who is serving a suspension after picking up a red card last week against the Dynamo.

The night would not end with a clean sheet; however, as Sporting KC would earn another penalty on another Jungwirth foul, and this time, convert. Felipe Gutierrez stepped up instead of Nemeth and sent Vega diving the wrong way before shooting the ball to the left side of the goal.

Ching Wong/SFBay San Jose Earthquakes midfielder/defender Shea Salinas (6) dribbles the ball against Sporting Kansas City midfielder/forward Gianluca Busio (13) in the first half of an MLS soccer match at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif., on Saturday, April 20, 2019. (Ching Wong/SFBay)

A gleaming Salinas gave his thoughts on the game when he said:

“Tonight was fun, the confidence came as a team. We worked hard together, we frustrated them and we could tell. As we frustrated them we became more and more confident.” 

Up Next

San Jose travels up the coast for a mid-week Western Conference showdown against the Seattle Sounders next Wednesday. Their next home game won’t be until May 4, when they have their first-ever match against FC Cincinnati.

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