Earthquakes fall to Impact, 3-1

Earthquakes fall to Impact, 3-1
August 19, 2012, 1:58 am
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BOX SCORENever an easy place to play, Stade Saputo was a house of horrors for the San Jose Earthquakes as they lost 3-1 to the Montreal Impact. A penalty kick goal from Chris Wondolowski was cancelled out by Impact strikes from Marco Di Vaio, Denny Neagle, and Patrice Bernier in the Earthquakes worse loss of the season.

An altercation between Steven Lenhart and Montreal defender Hassoun Camara early in the first half led to red cards to both players. The Earthquakes dropped down another man in the second half when Jason Hernandez was shown red later in the match. The match was already 2-1 in favor of the Impact at the second red, and it only got worse for the visitors at that point.

The Earthquakes dropped only their sixth game of the season, their third to an Eastern Conference opponent, but they did not drop in the standings despite the loss.

The first goal of the game did not come without controversy, as a penalty kick was awarded against Montreal for the Camara karate chop on Lenhart, all while the ball was still in play. And even though Lenhart had instigated the fracas, and the double red was shown to both participants, the Earthquakes were still gifted the penalty.

Wondolowski slotted home the penalty in the 23rd minute with a low kick to the left that easily eluded Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins. For Wondolowski, it was his 18th goal of the season which matches his career high set in his Golden Boot winning season of 2010.

Montreal did not waste any time in equalizing, as a through ball to Felipe in the Earthquakes area sprung the midfielder just inside of Justin Morrow and he pushed toward the endline. Crossing the ball through the six-yard box, Di Vaio snuck in at the back post to stab it home to make the score 1-1.

With both teams a man down, the game became much more wide open. Montreal seemed to have the better of the run of play, and in the 62nd minute, took the lead for good. With some skilled work on the ball at the top of the Earthquakes area, Bernier created enough space to lay the ball off to Neagle 20 yards from goal. The midfielder unleashed a right-footed blast that bulged the back of the net for the Impact goal.

The game went from bad to worse in the 71st minute, when a quick counterattack by Montreal saw Di Vaio collect the ball behind the Earthquakes defense and race toward goal. Hernandez, the last defender on the play, was forced into fouling the Italian striker inside the area. Hernandez was shown a red card for the foul and the Impact was awarded a penalty kick. Bernier converted from the spot to give the home side a 3-1 lead.

With the result no longer in doubt and up a man on San Jose, Montreal played an effective game of keep-away for the remaining 20 minutes of the match, and the Impact extended their winning streak to 4 games as they topped the Supporters Shield leading Earthquakes.