SEATTLE, WA—(MLSsoccer.com) The San Jose Earthquakes survived the fastest goal in Seattle Sounders franchise history and a second-half red card to hold on for an improbable 3-2 Western Conference road victory Saturday night at CenturyLink Field.
San Jose answered a Clint Dempsey goal just 18 seconds into the match with two Chris Wondolowski strikes and an Innocent Emeghara golazo in the 70th minute, with the Quakes down a man following a Victor Bernardez red card, to seal the victory. An Obafemi Martins goal in the 84th minute made for a thrilling finish, but the Quakes were able to hold on thanks in part to the gutsy goalkeeping from first-year starter David Bingham.
With the victory, San Jose broke their 16-game winless streak that stretched into last season and continued last weekend with a 1-0 season-opening loss to FC Dallas. The performance for Seattle, meanwhile, was in stark contrast to their 3-0 rout last week of defending Eastern Conference champion New England Revolution.
But things started perfectly for Seattle when midfielder Lamar Neagle blasted a cross into the San Jose box that deflected off defender Marvell Wynne and landed directly in front of Seattle defender Tyrone Mears, who then fired a laser attempt from just outside the penalty box. Bingham deflected Mears’ shot, but the ball took another fortuitous bounce directly to Dempsey, who put home the short-range header to give Seattle the 1-0 lead.
But the Quakes found their equalizer shortly after in the 13th minute off a perfect cross from Wynne, who managed to put the ball just inches over the head of a leaping Brad Evans to find Wondolowski lurking in Seattle’s penalty box. The ever-dangerous forward didn’t miss, blasting his attempt past Seattle ‘keeper Stefan Frei to knot things up.
San Jose then took the lead shortly after the second-half kickoff in the 48th minute after converted Seattle center back Evans whiffed an attempted header back to Frei, allowing Wondolowski to sneak in and cash in the go-ahead tally, silencing onlookers at CenturyLink Field.
The Quakes suffered another setback in the 57th minute when Benardez was shown a straight red card for a tackle to the leg of Seattle midfielder Micheal Azira, giving the Sounders a one-man advantage for the duration of the match.
But they weren’t fazed playing shorthanded, managing to extend their lead in the 70th-minute after Emeghara juked Evans in the penalty box and slotted his attempt past Frei to give the Quakes the 3-1 lead.
Martins tapped home a cross from midfield substitute Andy Rose to cut the deficit to 3-2, setting up a furious rally attempt from the Sounders.
Seattle couldn’t complete the comeback, however, unable to get a leveling goal by Bingham despite a flurry of dangerous chances and their one-man advantage.
Seattle return to action in a home friendly March 24 against Club Tijuana, while the Earthquakes will head home to take on the Chicago Fire on March 22.