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San Jose Earthquakes Fall 2-1 to Club America in International Champions Cup Game

Card frenzy and handbags as USA/Mexico soccer rivalry maintains its intensity

Joe Nuxoll / Center Line Soccer

The San Jose Earthquakes fell 2-1 in their first Guiness International Cup game versus Mexican La Liga giants Club America.


Fielding a far from second string team and very much playing "away at home" in a stadium decked in black and yellow San Jose got off to a slow start.

In the 11th minute, after a series of incisive moves down the right flank Dario Benedetto almost put Club America on the board with a cheeky back-heel after Quakes GK Meredith spilled the ball.


On 14 minutes Maria Perez Garcia took a wicked shot on goal that beat Club America GK Hugo Gonzalez but smashed into the woodwork. Nyassi’s ball back in was deflected for a corner. On the break from the ensuing corner Clarence Goodson executed what can only be described as a rugby tackle on Benedetto. Referee Mariscal showed Goodson a yellow card and a bout of handbags ensued.


In the 20th minute Garcia drew a yellow card for a needless foul on Arroyo when there seemed to be ample defense in place.


In the 23rd minute Amarikwa forced a corner and from the resultant ball in he headed a bullet that was cleared off the line. Goodson pounced on the rebound to head home.


San Jose 1 Club America 0


For the next 10 minutes the San Jose defense held but had trouble clearing the ball anywhere much beyond the Club America midfield.


In the 33rd minute Tommy Thompson came on for MPG, San Jose head coach Dominic Kinnear deciding to rest Garcia ahead next Friday’s game against LA Galaxy, at the same time taking the opportunity to give Thompson valuable developmental field minutes.


The last 12 minutes of the second half San Jose found enough rhythm to keep Club America’s consistent passing game from getting many chances on goal. On 43 minutes Andrade was carded for a tackle from behind on Barrera.


In time added on Amarikwa went off for Fucito but the real drama came at the end of first half extra when, after a crunching tackle on Nyassi and another bit of a general punch up involving most players on the field, the ref red carded Club America captain Goltz and Quakes Nyassi.


Quakes head coach Kinnear described his view of the incident as two players behaving like … (pause) "silly people".


HT San Jose Earthquakes 1 Club America 0


With the smell of jet fuel wafting over the field, the lights came on, and the second half started 10 v 10. Suddenly the field looked a good deal bigger.


Within 5 minutes Thompson found himself juggling the ball in front of GK Gonzalez but couldn’t manage to turn and get off his shot.


The next ten minutes saw the possession go back and forth with neither team managing to establish control. Chances on goal were few and far between.

Despite the extra space Club America could find no way behind the Quakes  back four. For  their part San Jose managed a couple of good probing balls into the area from the left flank.


On 72nd minute Thompson made an excellent run down the left wing and laid the ball neatly off to Jahn who side footed wide missing what was pretty much a sitter.

On 76th minutes Andrade found a glimmer of a chance and struck a frighteningly accurate ball to beat Meredith just inside the post.


The crowd’s eruptive volume level perfectly mirrored the amount of yellow and black there was inside Avaya.


San Jose 1 Club America 1


With 9 minutes to go and no clear sign of a winning goal, and no extra time in the rules for this game, the penalty shootout loomed.


At least, that is, until Rivera struck an almost identical goal to Club America’s first, the crowd went black and yellow bananas, and Club America were suddenly 2-1 up.


San Jose Earthquakes 1 Club America 2

A few minutes later the ball fell to Alashe but with only Gonzalez to beat from 2 yards out the Quakes midfielder failed to bury the ball. It was a moment he’s likely to wake up sweating about later tonight.

After 2 minutes of time added the referee blew for time. Bizarrely Q, the Quakes mascot, ran and body checked a fan who had run onto the field. It was the end of just another strange night in US/Mexican soccer rivalry that saw 7 yellow cards and 2 reds.

When asked about the value versus the disruption to the regular season of this competition Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear said:

"We only have two games so I don't think we're going to win the trophy now after losing that. But we put ourselves in a good position by being up 1-0. We had some chances to extend the lead and we didn't and made some silly mistakes that lead to their goals so that's unfortunate.

Now we've got Manchester United and I think the odds are probably against us to win that game. It's an honor to be involved in this tournament, we're thrilled to be a part of it.

On the other side of it, it's important, we made multiple changes at halftime. We do have a game on Friday which makes us be wary of the health of our squad. It gives some players who may not have been involved in international competition a taste of what it's like. Overall I think it's very good for them, it's a hostile environment, the game is very competitive, sometimes a little bit too competitive, but I think it does help prepare players for possible future international competition further down the line."