The San Jose Earthquakes fell to the Portland Timbers 1-0 on Sunday night at Providence Park, with the deciding goal coming in the 91st minute.
Due to two injuries and a call up to the U.S. National Team, San Jose was forced to play without all three of its Designated Players for the first time this season, including leading scorer and U.S. international forward Chris Wondolowski and midfielder Matias Perez Garcia, who leads the team in assists. The Quakes were also without midfielders Sanna Nyassi and Cordell Cato, who were absent due to yellow card accumulation and a call up to the Trinidad and Tobago National Team, respectively.
In the 19th minute, Quakes keeper David Bingham made a clutch save to keep the score level. Sprinting up the left side of the pitch, Portland defender Jorge Villafana pulled the trigger on a left-footed shot near the edge of the penalty area that was seemingly destined for the far post. Bingham lunged to his left and got enough on it to put the ball out of play for a corner kick.
Five minutes later, San Jose nearly took a 1-0 lead. Midfielder Shea Salinas looped in a lofting corner kick and forward Mark Sherrod was the first man to it. He headed the ball to the far post, beating the keeper, but was denied by a defender positioned on the goal line. Appeals for a handball were dismissed.
In the 57th minute, midfielder Tommy Thompson created a chance for himself. Dribbling in the right side of the penalty area with several Timbers defenders around him, Thompson snuck a quick shot across his body that slipped past the keeper. However, the ball rolled just wide left of the far post and out for a goal kick.
The Timbers broke the deadlock in the 91st minute. Following a free kick, the ball was batted around in front of goal before Quakes midfielder Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi went to clear it. Portland midfielder Jack Jewsbury jumped in front of the clearance attempt and deflected the ball over Bingham and into the net.
San Jose continues to have one of the best defensive units in MLS. They have only allowed more than one goal once over their last 10 contests, while keeping four clean sheets during that span. Bingham, who has played every minute of the season so far, made six saves, just one shy of his career high. He now has 60 saves this season, fourth most in MLS. The club also received tremendous play from its backline of Marvell Wynne, Victor Bernardez, Clarence Goodson and Jordan Stewart, who have become one of the most consistent and hard-to-break-down units in the league.
The Earthquakes return home to take on the Houston Dynamo on Friday, July 10 at Avaya Stadium, presented by Meriwest. San Jose's second consecutive nationally televised match kicks off at 8:00 p.m. PT and will air live on UniMas, 1590 KLIV and 1370 KZSF.
MLS Regular Season
San Jose Earthquakes 0-1 Portland Timbers
July 5, 2015 - Providence Park
Scoring Summary: POR - Jack Jewsbury (Gaston Fernandez) 90+1.
Misconduct Summary: SJ - Clarence Goodson (caution) 51; SJ - Mark Sherrod (caution) 75.
PORTLAND TIMBERS: Adam Larsen Kwarasey, Norberto Paparatto, Liam Ridgewell, Alvas Powell, Jorge Villafana, Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe (Gaston Fernandez 84), Dairon Asprilla (Rodney Wallace 73), Will Johnson, Jack Jewsbury, Fanendo Adi (Maximiliano Urruti 79).
SHOTS: 23; SHOTS ON GOAL: 7; SAVES: 2; FOULS: 9; CORNER KICKS: 9; OFFSIDES: 3.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: David Bingham, Marvell Wynne, Victor Bernardez, Clarence Goodson, Jordan Stewart, Fatai Alashe, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Leandro Barrera (Shaun Francis 72), Tommy Thompson (JJ Koval 90+1), Shea Salinas, Mark Sherrod (Adam Jahn 76).
SHOTS: 7; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; SAVES: 6; FOULS: 14; CORNER KICKS: 4; OFFSIDES: 3.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
On the overall match:
"Really disappointed. We defended pretty well tonight for long periods of time and I think the way the game was going it was either going to be a spectacular goal or a freaky one. It turned out to be a freaky one."
On generating goals going forward:
"Possess the ball better. We had one cleared off the line, could have been a questionable penalty kick. We had a couple of good looks. Put ourselves in some pretty good positions, more in the first half than the second but you have to look at the other team and say, well they're not going to let us score just because we're on the field. You have to give the other team credit for defending well. It would have been nice to have a little more of the ball tonight that would have looked better for creating chances. They had the majority of the possession and that's kind of how the game went."
On if the referee calls impacted the game:
"It may have. The offside ones... that's not even discussable because they're offside. I think the only ones that maybe come into question are the two handballs and maybe Tommy Thompson there at the end. In fast speed I can't form an option on those. Actually, [Jean-Baptiste] Pierazzi I didn't see and even the one on [Alvas] Powell I didn't see so clearly. The one that stood out to me was Tommy Thompson. It looked like a penalty. I think a lot of people spend so much time focusing on the referees that they forget about the game and the referees are trying to do a good job. They really are."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES GOALKEEPER DAVID BINGHAM
On the emotions of giving up a late goal:
"It's rough. You never want to give up goals, especially in the last 5-10 minutes of the game. I think we're disappointed with how we finished that play. We did the hard part. We kept them at bay for 85-plus minutes and maybe just one fluke of a play and that's how it goes. That's not good enough from us. We need to finish that game out and pick up points on the road."
On trying to hold on for last 15-20 minutes when Timbers started pressing:
"It takes just commitment from everyone. It's just keeping the right mentality that in this league it's a long season and you have to pick up points on the road to be successful. We pride ourselves on our defending and if you look defensively I think we're the best team in the league. We kept ourselves in the game and unfortunately we didn't generate as many chances as we wanted but we fought the whole game and it's a bit unfortunate to come away with zero."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES DEFENDER CLARENCE GOODSON
On what happened on the goal:
"I know the ball was kind of bouncing around. We had a chance to clear it and we just weren't able to do it. They took their chance and, a bit of a fluky goal, tight angle, but they took their chance. That's the way it goes. I think we played well defensively. We made it difficult at times but all in all I don't think we were quite good enough to get a win. Certainly to give up a goal in 90 minutes was harsh. I think we should have gotten a tie out of this but it wasn't meant to be and we'll get back to work. [There are] a lot of games in hand still and a lot of important games against conference opponents. If we can win some of those games in hand we will move up the table."
On what's allowed the team to work so well as a group:
"I think we're just starting to gel a little bit. We're working well together, being honest, working hard and doing our best to communicate and try to limit chances for the team. I think Fatai [Alashe] and Jean-Baptiste [Pierazzi] tonight had a big part in that the whole midfielders have done a good job but it starts in the top. Starts with pressuring the ball from the forwards, all the way down and if people have the right attitude we're going to be hard to score against like we were tonight until a very difficult one at the end."91st minute goal wins game for Timbers