Clinical San Jose Advance Past Real Salt Lake in Seven Goal Thriller
An explosion of goals early on
It would be San Jose that found the back of the net first when Valeri Qazaishvili played a sharp ball for Christian Espinoza to strike past the outstretched arms of Zac MacMath. Espinoza’s goal marked his second finish in his young San Jose career.
It would take RSL less than a minute to respond. Following the kickoff, Corey Baird played a beautiful ball past the San Jose backline to find Douglas Martinez, who chipped Daniel Vega to find the net.
What a response, what a finish. pic.twitter.com/pra3J0EF95
— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) July 28, 2020
Following an aggressive end to the half, the second half brought with it another goal for San Jose. Magnus Eriksson, who will most likely leave San Jose for his native Sweden following the tournament, struck a powerful penalty in the 49’ to make it 2-1. The pen marked Eriksson’s sixth successful penalty on six attempts in an Earthquake kit.
The excellent second-half start continued for San Jose, and they managed a third goal right on the hour mark. Following a mistake at the back, Andres Rios played a ball across goal that found the right foot of Valeri Qazaishvilli to direct it past MacMath. Qazaishvilli’s first goal of the MLS is back tournament was decisive in San Jose’s victory.
Daniel Vega heroics
Though the goals flew in the second half for the Quakes, it was the goalkeeping heroics of Daniel Vega that sealed the victory. Vega was clinical in stopping multiple Damir Kreilach chances throughout the second half, including a potential save of the tournament in the 62’.
DANIEL VEGA YOU'RE AN ANIMAL pic.twitter.com/lkGECuwgus
— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) July 28, 2020
Vega’s heroics were matched in the 75′ when Kreilach slotted in a consolation past the in-form keeper. The goal sparked an impressive run from RSL, with chance after chance aiming at an equalizer.
An aggressive first half set the precedent for the controversial moment of the match. Following a spree of attacks from RSL, midfielder Marcelo Silva clumsily slid into the leg of a San Jose player. Referee Drew Fischer flashed a red card instantly.
It was all San Jose’s from there, with goals from Chris Wondolowski and Magnus Eriksson icing the match for good.
The MLS GOAL KING does it again! 🔥
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 28, 2020
The frustrations even got to Kyle Beckerman, getting sent off following unsportsmanlike conduct in the 97′. Beckerman’s seventh sending off in his MLS career put a bow on RSL’s campaign.
Though it was a hard-fought victory, San Jose’s challenges don’t get any easier. The Quakes will be set to face the winner of Columbus vs. Minnesota in the quarterfinals.