Head coach Mark Watson was none too surprised by the late-game heroics that saw the San Jose Earthquakes steal a point in the season opener against Real Salt Lake at Buck Shaw Stadium.
“It’s kind of standard stuff.” Joked Watson after the 3-3 tie against Real Salt Lake.
The Quakes secured the draw thanks to a pair of second-half strikes from Victor Bernardez, including the equalizer in the fifth and final minute of stoppage time. San Jose has now scored 17 second-half stoppage time goals since the start of the 2012 season. You can check out the goal below, courtesy of mlssoccer.com.
90 + 5′…Bernardez with the equalizer http://t.co/QPCA9UWAbZ
— Karl Buscheck (@KarlBuscheck) March 16, 2014
The Quakes jumped out to an early lead after Chris Wondolowski latched onto the end of a free kick from Shea Salinas in just the sixth minute of the game. However, after the fast start, the Quakes “got a little sloppy,” as Watson put it.
Real Salt Lake poured in three unanswered goals in the first half, and none was more frustrating than the strike from Luke Mulholland right before the first-half whistle. Watson weighed in on the mood in the locker room at half time after the poor showing in the first 45 minutes.
“The heads were down. So, it was a matter of sorting a few things out on the field and making sure the heads were up going back out there. You know, starting the second half with energy and fight.”
And that’s exactly what the Quakes did. In the 75th minute Bernardez pulled the Quakes back to 3-2 as he scored on a header off of a corner kick from Salinas. For Salinas, it was the second assist of the night after setting up Wondolowski in the opening minutes of the game.
Watson was pleased with the resilience that his squad demonstrated on the night.
“We dug ourselves a big hole, but once again our guys just find a way to push it right to the end and it’s a full credit to them.”
Up next, the Quakes travel to Mexico to take on Deportivo Toluca FC at Nemesio Diaz Stadium in Champions League action on Wednesday March 19. In the first leg of the two-game series, the sides played to a 1-1 draw.
The Quakes return to MLS play on March 22 when the club takes on Sporting KC at Sporting Park in Kansas City.