SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 0:0 VANCOUVER WHITECAPS
by Steve Pandher
While the Whitecaps could not get the much needed win, they were able to secure a single point as Vancouver drew 0-0 with San Jose. Both teams had a number of chances but there was no goals as both David Ousted and Jon Busch earned cleansheets for their teams.
The win for Colorado leaves Portland as the most catchble side for the two combatants with the Timbers a full five points ahead and each of the three has six games left.
The Whitecaps had the early pressure around the box but it was San Jose with the first chance on goal as Cordell Cato sent in a cross that was headed by Chris Wondolowski right to David Ousted. Minutes later the home side looked dangerous again when they turned a Y.P. Lee turnover into a cross that was just missed by Alan Gordon.
It took until the 15th minute for the Caps to get their first shot on target as Gershon Koffie picked up a loose ball and fired a shot from outside the box that was gathered by Jon Busch. Then a few moments later Lee, after cutting into the middle, sent in a cross to the backpost that just missed the outstretched foot of Jordan Harvey.
The best chance for the home side came off a corner when Alan Gordon’s header forced Ousted into making a diving stop but the rebound fell to Clarence Goodson but luckily for the Caps the defender’s attempt from in close was skied over the bar. During this period there were a number of crosses and corners for the Earthquakes that they just couldn’t get on target.
There was a follow up by the Whitecaps as Nigel Reo-Coker sent in a cross that was met by Kenny Miller but was directed wide of the net. Around the half hour mark a loose ball was poked forward by Jun Marques Davidson to Reo-Coker who took a shot that was sent well wide of the post.
Just before the half Miller was able to fight off Victor Bernardez as he made run into the box from the left side where his first shot stopped by Busch and the rebound was sent high over the net by the Scotsman. Then in added time San Jose would come close as a free kick was headed by Bernardez over the bar as the game headed into the half scoreless.
It was a slow start to the second half with the first clear opportunity coming ten minutes in when the Quakes counterattacked with Cato sending a cross to the backpost for a streaking Wondolowski. Luckily for the Caps the header by the striker that looked to be heading for the net was blocked by Carlyle Mitchell.
Off a corner the Whitecaps had a couple of close chances as both Mitchell and Harvey saw their attempts blocked before they could get on goal. Then on the follow up a cross sent in by Lee from the right side was headed by Jay DeMerit over the bar for a goalkick.
Wondolowski came close once again to open the scoring when he redirected a deep free kick in the box onto goal but it fell into Ousted’s arms. The Earthquakes would get their next chance when Chavez stole the ball off Koffie and broke towards goal only to have his shot blocked by DeMerit in his first appearance since March as a first half sub.
The Earthquakes continued their pressure on Vancouver and saw one of their free kicks not cleared properly which saw a number of shots but nothing on net. Despite a spell of possession San Jose’s best chance came when one of their free kicks was inadvertently headed by DeMerit off the post.
A turnover by the normally reliable Bernardez saw the Caps with a glorious chance in added time as second half sub Darren Mattocks cut across a defender sending his attempt wide of the net. Then another chance for the visitors as the ball was worked the box before it got to Davidson who sent his shot from outside of the net.
In the final minute of injury time it was desperate times for the Caps as there were a pair of blocks by DeMerit and Harvey that kept San Jose from getting anything on goal. A final cross was sent into the box at the death but Ousted acted quickly and caught the ball as both teams earned a point.
While the Whitecaps did secure a point in the match against San Jose, there is no doubt that the club would have preferred the full three. They showed more going forward this week compared to their ability to attack in the previous game against FC Dallas.
One of the bigger stories to come out of this game was the return of Jay DeMerit from a “season ending injury” as a substitute for the injured Brad Rusin. The Captain put in a solid hour on the backline as he played his normal aggressive style of play and cleared out the balls from the box when needed.
The draw keeps Vancouver in seventh spot and five points out of the fifth and final spot occupied currently by the Portland Timbers. They will travel next week to the Eastern Time zone where the Caps will look to capture three point off the Montreal Impact in their final push to the playoffs.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 0-0 VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
San Jose Earthquakes: Jon Busch; Steven Beitashour, Victor Bernardez, Clarence Goodson, Jordan Stewart; Cordell Cato (Jaime Alas 82nd minute), Sam Cronin, Ramiro Corrales (Walter Martinez 80th minute), Shea Salinas (Marvin Chavez 59th minute); Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon
Unused Subs: David Bingham, Adam Jahn, Justin Morrow, Jason Hernandez
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: David Ousted; Young-Pyo Lee, Carlyle Mitchell, Brad Rusin (Jay DeMerit 31st minute), Jordan Harvey; Nigel Reo-Coker, Jun Marques Davidson, Gershon Koffie; Matt Watson, Camilo Sanvezzo (Darren Mattocks 83rd minute), Kenny Miller
Unused Subs: Brad Knighton, Daigo Kobayashi, Kekuta Manneh, Tommy Heinemann, Russell Teibert
Shots: San Jose 22 – Vancouver 14
Shots on Goal: San Jose 2 – Vancouver 3
Saves: San Jose 3 – Vancouver 2
Fouls: San Jose 15 – Vancouver 12
Offsides: San Jose 3 – Vancouver 2
Corners: San Jose 5 – Vancouver 1
46′ – SJ – Alan Gordon
63′ – SJ – Ramiro Corrales
82′ – SJ – Clarence Goodson