'Quakes haunted by wastefulness in 1-1 draw

August 28, 2011, 1:52 am
Share This Post

Nick Rosano

For some reason, maybe we stepped on a black cat orwhatever the saying goes, but we dont seem to get any kind of fortune ingames, Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop said, after his teams 1-1 draw atToronto FC. We played well the last few games and we keep tying. While the bounces might not be breaking the Earthquakes wayin 2011, there was an entirely tangible factor at play on a warm Saturdayevening in Toronto.Simply put, the Earthquakes were too wasteful despite enjoying a significantadvantage in ball possession and the number of shots they took. I thought for long spells of the game we had longpossession, we had great chances, Yallop continued. Although Toronto had a couple of good breaks, but Ithink the general possession, the general play was good by us. I thought wedeserved more out of the match. The numbers certainly support Yallops assertion San Jose enjoyed 64.7 of possession on Saturday eveningand boasted a 78 passing accuracy, significantly higher than Torontos 60 accuracy. However, there is another telling statistic despite allthe possession, the Earthquakes struggled to create quality chances, anddespite their 18 shots, only three of them were on target, all of them in thesecond half. Furthermore, the Earthquakes passing, while good in general, waslacking in the final third of the field, down from 78 to slightly over 50 asthe team moved the ball closer to Torontos goal. Indeed, it took until the 87th minute for theteam to overcome the 1-0 deficit imposed by Torontos Eric Avila after a defensive miscuein the 33rd minute. Chris Wondolowski was on hand to finish off awell-worked set piece that saw Bobby Burling flick on a throw-in from JacobPeterson towards the back post and a lurking Wondolowski, who netted histeam-high ninth goal of the season. It is a great feeling. It shows how resilient weve been,Wondolowski said of his late equalizer. That being said, I still think we wereleft a little bit disappointed, we wanted to get three points whenever possibleand I thought we played fairly well. While Wondolowski eventually came through with theequalizing goal, for large parts of the game, it looked like it might beanother frustrating night for the 2010 MLS Golden Boot winner, who found thenet for the first time in six games. The Danvillenative had a couple misses on good chances in the first half, but dideventually come good when the team needed it most. I thought in the first half he had a couple of goodopportunities, I thought one that was a good one but he couldnt get his toe tothe ball, or his foot to the ball, said Yallop, of the play of his starforward. He had a free header as well which is unlike him in the first half.However, the coach went on to admit that he hoped the goalwould bring Wondolowski the confidence he needed to go on a goalscoring tearsimilar to the one he enjoyed at the end of 2010, where he scored the Earthquakesfinal 10 regular season goals. Im very happy that he scored the goal to hopefully get himthat confidence that he probably needs a little bit, especially goal scorers,they need to score, Yallop added. He was the one that got the goal and Ithink that is great for him and I hope that it is the start of a good run byChris. In fact, those final 10 goals in 2010 all came in Septemberand October, leaving a glimmer of hope that Wondolowski might be able tofulfill Yallops hopes and replicate that sort of scoring run, even if theplayoffs are a distant dream at the moment. Working against the possibility of turning the momentum fromthe late equalizer into a scoring run is that the Earthquakes dont play againuntil a Sept. 10 home game against the Chicago Fire. Still, with new signingEdmundo Zura likely to be in the mix he missed Saturdays game partly becauseof visa issues and partly because of a lack of match fitness and Wondolowskiback on the score sheet, the game in two weeks time could be just what theteam needs to cut out the wastefulness and snap a winless run that nowstretches to 13 games.For more Earthquakes, MLS and world soccermusings, you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano