Despite both teams’ best efforts to end in a scoreless draw, Danny Hoesen stepped up late once again, giving the Quakes (8-7-4) a smash-and-grab, extra-time, 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake (8-9-2) Saturday night.
Coming into the match, San Jose’s scorching form of earning at least a point in the past six league games stalled during their midweek road clash against Minnesota United, when they lost 3-1.
Despite the lackluster and tired offensive attack, the San Jose defense played solidly again, notching their third clean sheet in the past four games.
On the defensive effort, head coach Matias Almeyda said:
“I think everyone helped in making sure the opponent had as little time as possible. When we finish a game I’ve noticed there is not one stand out player, it’s that everyone plays well and it tells me that we are a team.”
The first half started quickly for the home team, working their way up the field and earning a great chance a mere four minutes into the game. After the initial outburst, the intensity and pace of the game slowed to a halt.
The drop off was understandable, considering both teams played Wednesday. Today’s contest was also the fourth league game for San Jose in the past 11 days.
On the recent run of games, Chris Wondolowski said:
“It’s amazing to get nine points out these last 11 days, it’s not easy, but I think that it’s a glimpse of how much work we’ve put in to still be going in the 90thmin and get the goal.”
The rough first half only featured a combined three shots on target, all of them comfortably saved by Quakes and Salt Lake keepers Daniel Vega and Nick Rimando.
Salt Lake enjoyed a rare stint of possession at the very start the second half leading to two easy, but significant saves from Vega in the first ten minutes
That would be the best chance the visitors would get for the rest of the game as San Jose would eventually wrestle back control of the timid match.
With about fifteen minutes to go, San Jose tried to steal it late by bringing on substitutes Danny Hoesen in place of midfield enforcer Judson, and Shea Salinas in a more advanced left back position than starter Marcos Lopez. Paul Marie also came on for an exhausted Tommy Thompson.
Coach Almeydas substitutes paid off hugely late in the 93rd minute.
“It gives a huge signal to the team that we are going for the win. It gives us a lot of confidence.”
After earning a corner kick, San Jose played it quick and short as they have plenty of times this season. From the right flank, Paul Marie picked up the pass and played a simple ball into the box where the Dutchman calmly scooped the ball into the net for the winner.
“If you’re in my position you’re always closest to the goal so you always have to be sharp even if it’s the first minute or the last. At the end there they got tired and I had the fresh legs.”
Coach Almeyda said:
“The game was there for the taking. We had control of the game, but we didn’t have clear chances because Salt Lake closed down well in the back. We finished with only two defenders. We went looking for those three points, and we got what we wanted.”
On the offensive substitutions, Wondolowski said:
“At the end of the game, we were joking around in the locker room that we only had two defenders out there. I loved that we went for the win.”
The win now places San Jose in sole possession of
San Jose catches a little bit of a break in the schedule with no midweek games but they will hit the road to take on the Los Angeles Galaxy next Friday.