Forward Chris Wondolowski scored his fifth goal in the last six matches, but the Earthquakes were unable to hold onto the early lead, drawing 1-1 with the Montreal Impact at Avaya Stadium on Wednesday night. San Jose has now scored first in seven consecutive matches dating back to August 14.
San Jose took a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute. Forward Quincy Amarikwa took possession of the ball near the top of the box, but was dispossessed as he dribbled towards goal. The loose ball rolled to Wondolowski, who slotted the ball to the keeper's right and into the back of the net. It marked Wondolowski's 14th goal of the season and 107th of his career. He is now just one goal shy of tying Jason Kreis for fifth on the league's all-time leaderboard. Wondolowski has tallied 100 goals since the start of the 2010 season, 32 more than any other player in MLS.
Wondolowski nearly doubled his scoring total just two minutes later. His curling shot from distance was seemingly headed for the upper-90, but was pushed aside for a goal kick by keeper Eric Kronberg.
Montreal fell to 10 men, when defender Ambroise Oyongo was sent off for a reckless challenge on Quakes midfielder Matias Perez Garcia in the 49th minute.
In the 65th minute, Montreal drew level on a shot from distance by midfielder Kyle Bekker, whose left-footed strike snuck just inside the near post.
Four minutes later, Quakes midfielder Shea Salinas made a long run up the left side of the pitch and sent a low pass across the box. Wondolowski sprinted to catch up to it, but his sliding effort narrowly missed wide of the far post.
The Quakes continued to apply pressure for the remainder of the match, but were unable to find a late winner.
Despite failing to secure three points, San Jose continues to climb closer to the red line and now sit just one point shy of postseason playoffs. The Quakes have lost only once in their last seven matches, going 4-1-2 in that span and making up significant ground in the Western Conference race in the process.
San Jose hits the road to take on New York City FC on Saturday, September 16. The match kicks off at 4:00 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on CSN California and 1370 KZSF.
MLS Regular Season
San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 Montreal Impact
September 16, 2015 - Avaya Stadium
Scoring Summary: SJ - Chris Wondolowski (unassisted) 35; MTL - Kyle Bekker (unassisted) 65.
Misconduct Summary: MTL - Ambroise Oyongo (ejection) 49; SJ - Marc Pelosi (caution) 75; MTL - Eric Kronberg (caution) 84.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: David Bingham, Marvell Wynne, Fatai Alashe, Clarence Goodson, Shaun Francis (Tommy Thompson 89), Matias Perez Garcia (Cordell Cato 78), Marc Pelosi, Anibal Godoy, Shea Salinas, Chris Wondolowski, Quincy Amarikwa (Adam Jahn 78).
SHOTS: 16; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; SAVES: 3; FOULS: 9; CORNER KICKS: 6; OFFSIDES: 5.
MONTREAL IMPACT: Eric Kronberg, Eric Miller, Hassoun Camara, Wandrille Lefevre, Ambroise Oyongo, Nigel Reo-Coker (Calum Mallace 64), Eric Alexander (Donny Toia 53), Kyle Bekker, Johan Venegas (Andres Romero 73), Dilly Duka, Dominic Oduro.
SHOTS: 8; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; SAVES: 3; FOULS: 13; CORNER KICKS: 3; OFFSIDES: 0.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
On giving up the lead:
"It was very frustrating, especially in the manner it happened. I think we all saw it. It's two guys going for a ball that we should have handled a little bit better than we did. And then the guy [Kyle Bekker] slyly whips in a shot instead of a cross and David [Bingham] gets caught leaning. So I'm sure he'll put his hand up like he will and like he's already done. But in the manner that it got there in the first place was for me very frustrating."
On whether the Quakes were getting good shots at the end of the match:
"Yes. Not great ones, but good enough to hit the target, and I thought we let ourselves down, let them off the hook, by letting our fans touch the ball instead of the goalkeeper or the net. We have possession, we have opportunities to put the other team under pressure. At times we were rushing it and letting ourselves down. At times we were in the right places and were getting a look at the goal."
On how they'll reset for the road trip to New York:
"You just have to see how guys are feeling physically, and then just trust in the guys that we'll get the job done. There's really nothing more I can tell you. I didn't go in there and throw anything or point fingers. My point was, 'Hey we all have to want this together in a real bad way, and let's get ready for Saturday.' At 1-0 and a red card, should we have killed the game off? I think probably everyone in this room would say yes, you probably should have. It didn't happen. The turn-around is too quick for us to look back and go, 'Well, we should have done this.' "
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER FATAI ALASHE
"Honestly, I think we need to take it upon ourselves to just play better. We didn't play well enough to win today. Obviously mistakes happen, but in a game where you are up a man, you shouldn't be stuck on only one goal. We have to create a couple more chances to give ourselves a bigger cushion. As a team we just didn't have it today."
On playing three of last five matches at home:
"They're big. In the position we are in, every game is critical. We need three points in every game. I think playing three of those remaining games at home is really important. That will definitely help, not having to travel as much. We have to pick up points at home."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES GOALKEEPER DAVID BINGHAM
On conceding game tying goal:
"It was frustrating. They caught me leaning one way and I wasn't able to get back. I just wasn't good enough. This one is on me tonight. There are 10 other guys on that field busting their butts the whole game."
On surrendering another lead at home:
"You always want to lock down a lead when you get it. I think when you look back, it's individual things that costs us a couple of points. You have to look at them and address them. We have to fix them and be better. We've done that this year and we've rebounded well after tough results and we'll be looking to do that on the road this weekend."