Down to just 10 men for the final 45 minutes of the game, the San Jose Earthquakes held off a furious second-half onslaught from FC Dallas to grab a much-needed three points.
“That was a tale of two halves,” said head coach Mark Watson.
San Jose opened up the scoring in the 25th minute when Cordell Cato slipped in behind the FC Dallas defense to grab his first goal of the season.
— Karl Buscheck (@KarlBuscheck) May 11, 2014
With the strike, the Trinidadian winger became just the fourth Quakes’ player to find the back of the net in 2014.
However, a major flashpoint occurred just before the half when Shea Salinas was sent off with a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Zach Loyd.
“The second half was just about sticking together, defending and see if we could see the game out,” said Watson. “I’m proud of our guys to see the effort and the commitment under extreme pressure to get the points.”
Despite having just 10 players on the field in the second half, the Quakes actually opened up 2-0 advantage in the 73rd minute thanks to an own goal from FC Dallas. The away team then pulled back a goal just three minutes later, as Michel sent a laser of a free kick into the upper right corner of the net.
Watson described the club’s defensive effort in the second half as “fantastic” and nobody was more impressive than goalie Jon Busch, who made an array of flying saves.
“I wish I could say I’m shocked, but I see it everyday in practice.,” said striker Chris Wondolowski. “He does a great job, and he’s a great goal keeper.”
With the win, the Quakes (2-4-3) now move up into sixth place in the Western Conference standings. However, San Jose didn’t escape the game without a couple of injuries. In the 56th minute, Alan Gordon limped off the field with a hip issue.
“I don’t know how bad it is,” said Watson.”I don’t have much information. I just know he wasn’t able to continue.”
Wondolowski also appeared to suffer an injury to his right side in the dying minutes of the win. When asked about his shoulder afterward, the striker didn’t offer much of a reply,
The preliminary 30-man roster for the World Cup is set to be announced on Tuesday, and Wondolowski is expected to be included in the group.
Up next, the Quakes take on the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field on Saturday May 17. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 against the Wester Conference leaders.