Wondo's PK lifts Quakes past Sounders

April 1, 2012, 4:22 am
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BOX SCORE
The Earthquakes moved into first place in the Western Conference with a 1-0 win at Seattle Sounders FC. Chris Wondolowski converted a first half penalty kick for the lone goal and his fourth goal of the season, and was supported by a robust defensive effort by his defense. Jon Busch made a number of crucial saves, while Victor Bernardez once again justified his acquisition.San Jose head coach Frank Yallop made one change from the lineup that defeated Toronto 3-0 last weekend, replacing Colombian playmaker Tressor Moreno with the energetic Rafael Baca. Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid, meanwhile, included Cal alumnus Servando Carrasco in place of the injured Brad Evans.
Seattle threatened in the first minute after a Ramiro Corrales giveaway, but Victor Bernardez strong in the center of defense for throughout the start of the season snuffed out the danger.The Earthquakes broke a deadlock in the midfield when Steven Beitashour found Steven Lenhart at the far post, but Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning was able to extend a hand and corral Lenhart's cross.After a brief spell of Earthquakes pressure, they made a breakthrough after referee Michael Kadlechek whistled adjudged Seattle defender Marc Burch to have tripped Lenhart in the box, resulting in a penalty kick. Wondolowski stepped up and put the ball to Gspurning's left to put the Earthquakes up 1-0 in the 24th minute.Wondolowski had a chance to double San Jose's advantage a few minutes later as Sam Cronin found him in the center of the area, but he aimed his shot straight at Gspurning. On the other end, Jon Busch made a diving save on an Alonso header to keep San Jose in the lead.The Earthquakes managed to keep the lead for the rest of the first half, though they lost Ramiro Corrales with an injury to his right knee, forcing Yallop to bring in Jason Hernandez at center back, moving Morrow to center back.Seattle pressured early in the second half, but was denied by a strong defensive effort from San Jose. The Earthquakes then turned the tables and nearly scored in the 57th minute, as Sam Cronin burst into the box, but fired his shot just wide of the far post.Fredy Montero nearly equalized with 20 minutes left as he turned a free kick on goal, but Busch came up big once more, diving to his right to deny the Colombian, then collecting a followup effort.Wondolowski could have finished the game off 15 minutes from time as Cronin set him up again, but the Earthquakes' forward chose to poke the ball in at the near post, allowing Gspurning to make the save.With the clock ticking down, a tidy interchange between Seattle's forwards allowed Montero to unleash the Sounders' 15th shot of the evening, but Busch came up with the save once again, pushing the ball around the post.The Earthquakes managed to hold on to their fragile lead through injury time despite intense pressure from Seattle, allowing them to score an essential early season victory.

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