Quakes fall to Vancouver on penalty kick

July 23, 2012, 1:50 am
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The San Jose Earthquakes lost to the Vancouver Whitecaps forthe second time this season at BC Place as a penalty kick goal from designatedplayer Barry Robson gave the home side a 2-1 win. The call against Sam Croninfor a tackle on Camilo in the area was initially waved off by the referee, butupon reconsideration was called in favor of the Whitecaps. First half strikes from the Whitecaps' Dane Richards and theEarthquakes' Alan Gordon sent the match into halftime tied 1-1. Following thepenalty kick goal from Robson, the Earthquakes pressed forward in search of anequalizer, but were unable to crack the Vancouverdefense. The goal by Gordon was his ninth of the season, a new careerhigh, and the score was assisted by Marvin Chavez, his ninth of the season. Theloss to Vancouverwas only the fifth of the season suffered by the Earthquakes, and only markedthe second time they had dropped points to a team in position in the MLSWestern Conference to qualify for the postseason. After absorbing a tremendous amount of pressure on thedefensive side of the ball to start the game, the Earthquakes finally had achance develop in the 11th minute. A Whitecaps turnover at midfieldallowed Chris Wondolowski to race forward with the ball. Center defender MartinBonjour stepped into his path 30 yards from goal to break up the play, andearned a yellow card for hockey-style tackle. New Vancouver designated player Robson earned ayellow card for encroachment on the initial free kick from Victor Bernardez.The defenders retake was blasted a few feet over the crossbar. The Whitecaps were finally rewarded for their aggressive play inthe attacking third, when a loose ball in the center of the field was collectedby Young-Pyo Lee in the 20th minute. Vancouver's right back lookedto play distributor and spotted the speedy Richards sprinting into space behinddefender Justin Morrow. Richards collected the pass from Lee and carried theball into the area. From 10 yards out, the Jamaican blasted a shot throughgoalkeeper Jon Busch for the matchs opening goal. San Joseequalized in the 38th minute following a fine defensive play byJason Hernandez. The Earthquakes' centerback defused a Whitecaps counterattackand immediately pressed the ball forward to Chavez on the left side of thefield. The Quakes' leading assist man whipped a cross through the area for aleaping Gordon to head back to the far post for the goal. A controversial penalty call was awarded to Vancouver in the 62ndminute after Cronin was adjudged to have fouled Camilo in the area. Initiallythe foul was waved off by referee Jair Marrufo, but he reconsidered the callafter consulting with his assistant and pointed to the spot. Robson stepped upand crushed the penalty kick to the left of Busch to restore the Whitecaps'lead. The goal seemed to stun the Earthquakes, and they nearlygave up a third to the Whitecaps over the next quarter hour. In both the 71stand 73rd minutes, rookie Darren Mattocks had only Busch to beat, buthis first attempt was tipped out for a corner kick and his second was shot justwide off the target. In the 77th minute, Mattocks was replaced bydesignated player Kenny Miller making his debut for the Whitecaps. The Earthquakes began to turn the momentum of the match intheir favor late in the second half with the introduction of Shea Salinas forMarvin Chavez and Sercan Guvenisik for Rafael Baca. San Jose increased its pressure on the Vancouver defense, but did little tochallenge goalkeeper Joe Cannon over the rest of the match.Following the MLS All-Star game this Wednesday, theEarthquakes return home to Buck Shaw Stadium to face the Chicago Fire onSaturday, July 28.

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