If the 2017 season for the San Jose Earthquakes could be bottled up and captured in a 90 minute window, this Decision Day would be best way to do that. The Earthquakes yo-yo’d up and down on the red line, with their playoff chances changing by the minute, San Jose was able to find one more gasp of “Goonie Time” magic on a late winner from Marco Urena to defeat Minnesota United 3-2 on Sunday Afternoon at Avaya Stadium.
With the dramatic victory, the Earthquakes return to the MLS Playoffs for the first time since 2012 where they will head across the border to face the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday Night at 7:30 PST. The Earthquakes were able to put themselves in a place to control their destiny last Sunday when they battled Vancouver to a 1-1 draw at BC Place.
“It fits our season up and down,” said Forward Danny Hoesen. That this happened, everyone deserves this. In difficult times, we stick together and this is what this club needs.”
It was Hoesen that got the Earthquakes on the board in the 15th minute when he got on the receiving of a Florian Jungwirth long ball and was able to turn on his defender to find a 1 v 1 chance with Bobby Shuttlesworth and slotted it home from just outside the 18 yard box for his fifth goal of the season.
“The ball kinda dropped between me and the other center back, and I was there first and I got one on one with the goalie. He came out pretty far so I had little time to think. His legs were pretty wide open, so I knew I had to go there and luckily it was a goal.”
“He’s done a good job, especially playing as the target forward to take his chances really well.” said Earthquakes Manager Chris Leitch. “Danny is a player that if he is given opportunities he can bury them.”
After a Goal of the Week candidate strike from Minnesota’s Jerome Thiesson brought things level in the 36th minute, the Earthquakes came out strong in the second half and Hoesen again was able to make it happen when his cross found Chris Wondolowski on the back post to put the Earthquakes ahead 2-1 and back above the red line. Everything seemed to be going the Earthquakes way until Minnesota reached into thin air on a corner kick and found the head of Francisco Calvo, who knocked it under the crossbar to level the game at two and drop the Earthquakes back below the red line as things were changing by the minute in the Western Conference.
With the Earthquakes pushing hard for some stoppage time magic, Leitch subbed on Marco Urena for Kofi Sarkodie to add an extra attacker to the pitch. The move proved to be genius, as Urena was able to get on the end of a Wondolowski pass to slot home the game winner and send Avaya Stadium into a state of delirium as the Earthquakes moved to their final resting place above the red line.
“It kind of spun on me because it was saved. I think if I get my feet right I’m blasting that, I’m so grateful it spun on me and I saw [Urena} last second.” said Chris Wondolowski. “I’m grateful for Marcos, I’m grateful for everyone here because to a man everyone still believes and does their job to the best of their capability and it showed tonight.”
San Jose Earthquakes