September 29, 2012
DOWN TO THE WIRE
Wild finish for Hoops and Quakes
SANTA CLARA, Calif.óThereís one sure thing about playing against the San Jose Earthquakes. Itís never over until itís over. FC Dallas found that out Saturday night, settling for a 3-3 draw at Buck Shaw Stadium.
|Despite getting two goals from Blas Perez, FC Dallas settled for a 3-3 tie with San Jose on Saturday night.
Photo by Michael Stephens
Blas Perez scored two goals and Matt Hedges one, but Steven Lenhart had a brace for the Quakes, and Alan Gordon had a goal and an assist, as the hosts came from behind to earn the tie.
San Jose, still looking to clinch the Supporters Shield and the Western Division crown, improve to 18-6-7 for 61 points. FC Dallas is now 9-12-9, 37 points, still looking up at the fifth playoff spot in the west.
Gordon gave the Earthquakes the lead in the 24th minute. Marvin Chavez got a ball from Sam Cronin and made a run down the left side. He played a ball into the area that Chris Wondolowski dummied. Gordon connected and finished for his 13th goal of the season.
Fourteen minutes later, the Hoops equalized. Jackson played a ball from the right side into the penalty area. Perez stepped in front of a defender and sent the ball to the far post.
Perez added his second of the game in the 72nd minute. David Ferreira settled a failed clearance by the Quakes at the left edge of the penalty area. He chipped a perfect ball in front of the goal, where Perez got up and just glanced it off his head and into the net.
But the Quakes, who are notorious for scoring in the final 30 minutes, did it twice against Dallas, marking the 36th and 37th times this season they have done so.
Just 11 minutes after Dallas took the lead, on a play started by goalkeeper Jon Busch, Gordon laid the ball off for Lenhart, who put a left-footed shot past Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
The game, which was chippy all night, nearly broke into a fight in the 88th minute, when Cronin pushed past Ferreira and apparently hit him in the nose. Ferreira, who started the game wearing a mask to protect his broken nose, took umbrage and pushed Cronin. Both were yellow carded.
While the tempers eventually cooled, the scoring continued to heat up.
In the 88th minute, Dallas took the lead again. This time Daniel Hernandez ripped a side volley from the edge of the 18-yard box that appeared to take a deflection going through traffic. The ball hit Busch in the hand and rebounded off the upper left corner of the post and crossbar. San Jose could not clear the rebound and Hedges charged in to stick the ball inside the right post.
It seemed like Dallas would leave San Jose the way only one other team has this seasonóas winners. But the Quakes and their affinity for late heroics came through again, helped in part by a healthy amount of stoppage time.
Justin Morrow sent a ball into the penalty area. Gordon headed back toward the far post, where Lenhart was there to meet it with a header to tie the game.
Neither team had much of a rhythm in the first half, but the game turned into a fast-paced attacking affair, with San Jose taking 19 shots and Dallas 12.
Both veteran goalkeepers came up big in key situations, with Hartman making six saves, and Busch being credited with one.
Hartman made perhaps his biggest save of the game in first half stoppage time, when he denied Wondolowski, the league's leading scorer. Wondolowski, who entered the game with 22 goals, ended it with the same total. He came close when he turned on a ball in the penalty area, but Hartman came up with a foot save to make the block in traffic.
Busch made a huge save to keep Dallas from winning the game in the second minute of stoppage time, stoning a shot by Fabian Castillo.