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SANTA CLARA, CA — Win or go home. The San Jose Earthquakes, facing elimination, needed to beat the visiting Montreal Impact tonight to keep any hope of moving on in the CONCACAF Champions League, and they did just that. On Tuesday evening, San Jose delivered a 3-0 defeat of the visiting Impact in front of a small, yet rambunctious crowd. This is San Jose’s first appearance in the Champions League.
San Jose, with a mixed up yet still strong lineup, played with the passion and heart that has been missing from the pitch for the past few games. In one of their best performances of the season, goals from Chris Wondolowski, Marvin Chavez, and Shea Salinas helped the Quakes stave off elimination for one more game.
In the first half, things looked fairly even for both sides. Each team had their chances. Back up keeper David Bingham got the start for San Jose and played extremely well, stopping all seven shots he faced.
The game took a turn the Quakes way after Wondolowski put his team on the board in the 21st minute. Wondo did what Wondo does, as he got into perfect position and tapped a no-brainer into the back of the net. In the second half, Chavez ripped a volley past the diving Impact keeper Troy Perkins to take the lead to 2-0. Coming on in relief of Chavez, Salinas utilized his blinding speed and took on the defense before sliding the ball past Perkins, bringing the final tally to 3-0.
Interim Coach Mark Watson was very pleased with his squad, praising their hard work and excellent play, “It shows our persistence. We feel very good about our performance. Maybe three goals is what we need to get going offensively."
The next Champions League match is October 23rd, when San Jose hosts CD Heredia. The Quakes are back in action this weekend, September 21st when they travel to Real Salt Lake for a regular season match. San Jose still remains five points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.