SANTA CLARA, CA — The San Jose Earthquakes (10-11-7) kept their playoff hopes alive tonight after defeating the Philadelphia Union (10-9-9) 1-0 Saturday evening. The win extends the Quakes unbeaten streak at home to 13 games, something they need to keep rolling with if they hope to see a post season this year. With the loss, Philadelphia extends their scoreless streak to four games.
Tonight’s game was not the best soccer that has ever been played at Buck Shaw. Fortunately, the Quakes came out on top. Fifteen minutes into the game, Sam Cronin played a beautiful ball into the 6-yard box towards his oncoming teammates. Shea Salinas came out of nowhere, slipped through the defense and got a touch on the ball. Union’s goaltender Zac MacMath came out to pressure but Salinas volleyed it past him and into the back of the net. Salinas’ goal would be the only tally on the night, and just enough to get San Jose the three points.
San Jose had a few more chances, but was not able to get anything by MacMath a second time. Minutes into the second half, San Jose’s Rafael Baca was shown a second yellow card that sent him off for the match. This caused the Quakes to bunker down and go into defense mode, pulling everyone back except for Steven Lenhart up top. Philadelphia put the pressure on, and it was felt through the rest of the game.
At the 90th minute, with five minutes of stoppage time, Quakes attackers Lenhart and Salinas kept the ball in the corner for as long as they could, earning countless corner kickers, throw-ins, and free kicks. A very frustrated Union could do nothing but try to knock Lenhart off the ball, which is not an easy task to accomplish. The 10-men squad was able to keep the Union off the board and secured the much needed three points.
San Jose next hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps FC next Saturday, September 14th at 7:30 PDT.