Death, taxes and Salinas to Wondo.
On a blindingly bright day at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, the San Jose Earthquakes found the back of the net in the most predictable fashion possible, as the home team and the Columbus Crew played to a 1-1 draw.
In the 51st minute, Shea Salinas sent in a perfectly placed corner kick that Chris Wondolowski headed home. Check out the play below, courtesy of the MLS Twitter account.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 13, 2014
For Salinas, it was his third assist of the league season. For Wondolowski, the strike was his third of the year, and his 82nd in his MLS career. As Paul Carr of ESPN Stats & Info notes, with that goal the San Jose striker is now tied for the 11th-most in MLS history.
In the first 45 minutes, with the squad attacking the net in front of the 1906 Ultras, who were hooping and hollering with their flags billowing in the wind, the Quakes had plenty of chances to score.
However, the team was staring at a 1-0 deficit at the half after Federico Higuain scored in the 44th minute. While the Crew had limited opportunities in the opening half, the Quakes’ defense was questionable at best. After the game, Wondolowski chimed in on club’s habit of falling behind early.
“We have to stop putting ourselves in a corner. Once we’re in the corner we’re going to come out swinging that’s for sure.”
The team came out swinging, indeed.
San Jose found the equalizer in the 51st minute thanks to the Salinas to Wondolowski connection, but ultimately, the Quakes were unable to produce the winner.
However, late in stoppage time there was a controversial scene when a Crew defender went down with an apparent injury to break up one final attack from the Quakes. Wondolowski was unhappy with the Crews’ tactics, and the usually mild-mannered attacker shared his feelings with the Columbus defense. After the final whistle, Wondolowski protested the play to the officials.
In his post game remarks, head coach Mark Watson echoed the sentiment of Wondolowski, in regards to the underwhelming start to the game.
“We have to find a way to start games better as a group…That’s every single player. Something we’ll be addressing in the time before we go to Colorado.”
Up next, the Quakes hit the road to take on the Colorado Rapids (3-0-1) , who are tied for the second spot in the Western Conference, on Saturday, April 19. The Quakes are now 0-2-2 and sit in ninth in the standings.
Notes: In the 53rd minute, right back Brandon Barklage left the game after injuring his right leg. Afterward, Watson shared a quick update on the defender’s status.
“It doesn’t look too serious. It’s more of a dead leg type scenario. We gave him thirty seconds to try and run it off…but it was pretty clear pretty quickly that it wasn’t the case…Hopefully it’s not too bad.”
To listen to direct audio of Watson’s full postgame press conference, click here.