SAN JOSE, Calif. -- With time running out, the San Jose Earthquakes found a late goal to draw level with winless DC United 1-1 in a match that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first match in MLS history.
Patrick Nyarko scored off a header in the 34th minute, redirecting a perfect cross into the box by Lamar Neagle, to give DC United a first half lead. But late substitute Adam Jahn equalized in the 88th minute to give each side a share of the spoils.
San Jose (2-1-1) remains unbeaten at home to start the 2016 season, while DC United (0-2-3) are still looking for their first victory of the campaign.
As part of the festivities, the Earthquakes organization honored its past with a reunion of the 1996 San Jose Clash players and coaches in a halftime celebration. Included in the proceedings were Eric Wynalda, who scored the only goal in the team's 1-0 win over DC in the league's inaugural game, and John Doyle, who has served as the Quakes GM since the team returned to MLS in 2008.
The Earthquakes were without starters Simon Dawkins, serving a one-game suspension for a red card against the LA Galaxy two weeks ago, and Anibal Godoy, injured while on international duty with Panama. Third-year midfielder Tommy Thompson earned his first start of 2016 in their place.
In the 16th minute, the Earthquakes looked to have earned a penalty through the crafty work of Alberto Quintero, but the shove in the back he received in the area was adjudged a non-foul by referee Fotis Bazakos, who waved play on despite the Panamanian's protestations.
The 25th minute saw a golden opportunity open up for the Quakes, as a give-and-go between Chris Wondolowski and Quincy Amarikwa put the latter in on goal. His powerful shot, unfortunately, was right into the gut of goalkeeper Travis Worra, and the follow-up went high of the target.
DC United capitalized in the 34th minute with some slick build-up play from Chris Rolfe that sprayed the ball out wide on the left for winger Lamar Neagle. The former Seattle Sounder whipped the ball into the mixer where it was expertly headed home by former Chicago Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko. It was the first time in 2016 that the Earthquakes trailed at Avaya Stadium.
The Earthquakes appeared to get one back a minute later as Amarikwa punched one home from close distance, but he was flagged for offside on Wondolowski's header across the goal mouth. San Jose would not threaten again in the first stanza, and United entered the half with their one goal lead intact.
In the 49th minute, a fast-break by the Quakes freed Quintero on the left wing, and he entered the area unopposed. However, his attempt to square the ball to Amarikwa was snuffed out by Worra, who guessed correctly and dived on the crossing pass.
The Quakes made a pair of key substitutions as the game entered its last quarter hour as Shea Salinas replaced Quintero and Innocent spelled Matias Perez Garcia. The appearance by Innocent, the highest paid player on the Quakes roster, marked his 2016 debut at Avaya Stadium. He last featured in a home game for San Jose back on April 5, 2015 against Real Salt Lake -- nearly one year ago to the day.
In the 79th minute, Salinas hustled onto a ball along the right side and fed Wondolowski in the box. The Quakes all-time leading scorer turned and fired a shot that was deflected by the defense. A couple minutes later, Adam Jahn came in as the third Quakes substitute, replacing defender Andres Imperiale, as San Jose searched desperately for an equalizer.
And Jahn delivered, doing his best 2012 Steven Lenhart impersonation in redirecting a Salinas cross in the 88th minute to tie the game at 1-1. The forward had spent last week on loan with USL affiliate Sacramento Republic FC, earning a penalty for the squad in their season-opening victory.
The Quakes threatened throughout stoppage time, with Wondolowski poking a shot just wide in the 95th minute, but they couldn't break through with a second goal and the game ended in a draw. San Jose travels to FC Dallas for its next match, April 9, at Toyota Park in Frisco, Texas.