Wondolowski scores two; Quakes tie Vancouver

Wondolowski scores two; Quakes tie Vancouver
July 21, 2011, 5:27 am
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July 20,2011MATCHSTATS MATCHEVENTS
MLSSCOREBOARD EARTHQUAKESPAGENick RosanoCSNBayArea.com

SANTA CLARA -- All of a sudden, Chris Wondolowski and the Earthquakes found their goalscoring touch. However, they could not make it count against the Vancouver Whitecaps, throwing away two leads on the way to a 2-2 draw at Buck Shaw Stadium, snapping a run in which the team had gone scoreless in five out of its last six, but extending its winless streak to seven games. The Earthquakes couldnt pull away from the Whitecaps as they took the lead twice through Wondolowski, only to be pegged back twice by Vancouvers own star striker, Eric Hassli. The Earthquakes certainly had their opportunities to pull away from their visitors Steven Lenhart missed a pair of one-on-one chances, and the teams inability to finish cost them a win against the last-placed team in the Western Conference. Were back on the scoring charts, but it was just a real frustrating night. Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop said. We seemed to not get the breaks when you kind of need them. Things certainly looked rosier when San Jose got the best possible start to the game in the third minute. Simon Dawkins played a fine chipped ball over the top to find an onside Wondolowski, who beat longtime former Quake Joe Cannon to give his side a 1-0 lead. However, the defense, solid in the teams recent outings, often looked out of shape as the first half progressed. The Whitecaps new Designated Player, Mustapha Jarju, fired over. Lenhart nearly made him pay, as Dawkins pounced to put him clear on goal, but he took too long to get a shot off, allowing a Vancouver defender to get in a saving tackle. The Earthquakes themselves were made to pay for that miss just minutes before halftime, after a chipped ball from Shea Salinas, another former Earthquakes, found Hassli free in the box. Jon Busch got a glove to his shot, but the Frenchmans effort was simply too powerful to keep out. Earthquakes defender Bobby Burling acknowledged that conceding right before halftime dampened morale, saying, They got one back right before half, and it kind of deflated us a little bit I think. However, there was plenty more to come in the final 45 minutes. Jacob Peterson, the Earthquakes newly acquired right winger, looked active down the flank on his home debut, and had a hand as the Earthquakes pulled ahead once more early in the second half. Peterson whipped in a free kick from the right side, allowing Wondolowski to take advantage of a slip by his marker and head home. Hes a great player and can whip in a great ball, and being a forward and a bit of a poacher myself, I love that and it makes me happy, said Wondolowski, on playing with Peterson. The Earthquakes werent able to make the lead last more than seven minutes, though, as in the 61st minute, as the Salinas-Hassli combination wreaked havoc on the home sides defense one more. Some fancy footwork from Salinas left his marker in the dust, and he did well to draw out Busch before pulling the ball back for Hassli, who finished easily. San Jose then had a trio of good chances to put the game away, but couldnt convert any of them. Wondolowski nearly had his hat-trick, connecting with another Peterson cross, only to head against the bar. He also had a one-on-one opportunity foiled by a last ditch tackle from Whitecaps defender Greg Janicki, while Steven Lenhart couldnt put his own one-on-one chance on target. Despite having a generally positive outing before being substituted in the 66th minute, Peterson was one of the fiercest critics of the teams performance. Im disappointed, we should all be disappointed, he said. Their team is bottom of the league, to tie at home is not good enough. We created some decent chances that second half, but overall as a game, we werent sharp enough. Despite the slip-up and home that sees the Earthquakes drift further and further back from a playoff spot, Yallop was not ready to blame any particular portion of the team, despite some less organized defending than the fans have been used to in the past few weeks. Its a team effort. When we score goals, we all score goals and when we dont defend properly, its not just the defenders, Yallop said. Weve got to get a combination wherewere solid at the back and be dangerous going forward, so right now we seem to be struggling to get that chemistry thats going to be good for us going forward. The Earthquakes will have little to no time to find that chemistry they are off Thursday and travel east on Friday to face off against a tough Real Salt Lake outfit. Still, the lessons from tonights match will be fresh on their mind, and could be that elusive ingredient in the teams formula for success.For more Earthquakes, MLS and world soccer musings, you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter @nicholasrosano

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