Full time: Sporting 3 (3), San Jose 3 (0). Quakes can’t get it done in the shootout, and it’s over. Here’s the full recap, thanks so much for following along.
End of game: Penalties!
105th minute: We’re still tied at 3-3. 15 minutes more to play here.
97th minute: GOOOOOOL WONDO! THIS GAME GOES TO EXTRA TIME! INCREDIBLE!
91st minute: Goal Sporting. Gianluca Busio with the go-ahead strike in stoppage time to nearly kill San Jose’s hopes. Need a miracle here, quick.
47th minute: Goal Sporting. Guess what, it’s another corner kick goal, Winston Reid getting the credit on it to tie it up, 2-2.
Halftime: Quakes lead 2-1. They totally rope-a-doped Sporting in the first 45. We’ll see if it’s more of the same or if the home side will have more to say in the second half.
34th minute: GOOOOOOOOOOOL SAN JOSE! Shea Salinas puts the Earthquakes ahead, with another deflection helping the ball cross the line. They’ll take it. Quakes lead!
22nd minute: GOOOOOOOL SAN JOSE! There’s a scramble in front, and they’ve tied up the game. Carlos Fierro gets the early credit on the goal, but we’ll see. Game on.
4th minute: Goal Sporting. Roger Espinoza with a near-post header off a corner kick to put the Earthquakes in an early hole.
San Jose start Shea Salinas and Marcos Lopez, and the normal group otherwise. Andy Rios is a bench option.
¡VAMOS SAN JOSE!#NeverSayDie | #MLSCupPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/tHEILOHCx4— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) November 22, 2020
Sporting roll with a strong group, as you’d expect.
The XI, #MLSCupPlayoffs edition.@BlueKC // #SKCvSJ pic.twitter.com/2UFhs0LV9m— Sporting KC (@SportingKC) November 22, 2020
The San Jose Earthquakes are back in the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2017, and it gets real right away, as they will take on Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park in Round One.
The game is a win-or-go-home proposition, with the Quakes on the road and looking to grab the upset over the No. 1 seed Sporting. Needless to say, it won’t be easy, but what could or could not be helpful is that these teams have not played yet this season. Unusual!
One thing that could be beneficial here is Matias Almeyda’s success in knockout competitions previously in his coaching career, particularly at Chivas. There’s certainly no guarantee, but that and the Quakes’ experience in the MLS is Back Tournament knockout phase this summer could give them a boost in what’s going to be a tough game.
Neither team has a dominant goalscorer, with Alan Pulido, Gadi Kinda and Johnny Russell all level on six goals in the season for SKC, a three-headed monster lining up against Chris Wondolowski’s seven goals and Andy Rios’ five on the season. Both teams enjoy energy, quick transitions and getting down and dirty, so this could be a cracker or a battle. Either way, it’s going to be interesting.
Sporting mainstays Felipe Gutierrez, Graham Zusi and Matt Besler are all out for the game, while Danny Hoesen is the only player listed out for San Jose. I think contrary to my prior reporting, San Jose’s internationals of Marcos Lopez, Vako and Guram Kashia may be eligible for selection in this game, somehow.
The Quakes are underdogs, but they have their novel approach and an indomitable spirit, so don’t count them out. Sporting have been a very good team, but they’re not invincible. Can the Earthquakes spring an upset that Earthquakes fans will know they can accomplish? Or will this be curtains on the 2020 season? We’ll find out Sunday afternoon.
Our partners at DraftKings Sportsbook as of Saturday evening have San Jose at (+370), Kansas City at (-157) and a draw (possible for betting purposes!) at (+320). Sporting are considerable favorites at home, as you would expect, but these aren’t actually astronomical odds for San Jose. We’ll see what happens.
How to Watch:
Sunday’s match between the Quakes and Sporting will be televised nationally on FS1, which you can watch on FuboTV. The broadcast is scheduled to start at 1 pm PT with kickoff to follow.
Come chat about the game with us in the comment section below!
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