SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Goonies’ legend just keeps growing – as does FC Dallas’ frustration.
Steven Lenhart bagged a late brace, including a 95th-minute equalizer, as the San Jose Earthquakes came back twice in the second half to force a 3-3 tie with FC Dallas on Saturday.
Lenhart headed home a ball flicked on by Alan Gordon, from a cross by Justin Morrow, to keep San Jose’s unbeaten streak at Buck Shaw Stadium intact. The Earthquakes have gone 11-0-6 at their primary venue since Aug. 13, 2011.
San Jose (18-6-7) inched to three points ahead of Sporting Kansas City in the Supporters’ Shield standings. The Quakes need to hold on for three more matches to claim their first hardware since returning to the league as an expansion team in 2008.
Blas Pérez scored in the 37th and 72nd minutes for FC Dallas (9-12-10), who lost an opportunity to tie Vancouver in the race for the fifth and final Western Conference playoff spot when Matt Hedges’ 88th-minute goal didn’t hold up. Dallas sit two points behind the Whitecaps with three matches remaining.
Alan Gordon put San Jose up in 24th minute, and Lenhart provided an 82nd-minute equalizer.
San Jose have 12 game-winning or equalizing goals in the 82nd minute or later this season. It was the Earthquakes’ league-record ninth goal in second-half stoppage time.
Things began to boil in the 22nd minute, when Gordon sent a sideways volley just over the crossbar, but Dallas responded right away with an attack down the right and a cross in that saw a collision between Steven Beitashour and Brek Shea, the latter's penalty shout going unanswered.
Gordon broke through in the following minute, finishing off a play that began with Marvin Chávez – making his first start since Sept. 2 due to a strained left hamstring – latching onto a loose ball near midfield, then delivering a bending cross from the right wing. Chris Wondolowski dummied the ball to Gordon, who easily finished past a helpless Kevin Hartman.
Jackson continued to menace the Quakes, and his run through one attempted tackle set up Dallas’ first goal. The Brazilian fed a pass to the heart of San Jose’s defense, where Pérez took one touch to free himself and tucked a sharply angled shot just inside the far post.
Though Wondolowski failed to beat Kevin Hartman twice in first-half stoppage time, Pérez did so in the second half, knifing between Quakes center backs Víctor Bernárdez and Jason Hernandez to head home David Ferreira’s deft cross from the edge of the area and stake Dallas to a 2-1 lead.
Lenhart, who came on for an injured Mehdi Ballouchy in the 52nd minute, got San Jose even with a stabbing, 18-yard left-footed shot off a well-weighted layoff by Gordon.
Hedges appeared to be the hero, slotting home the rebound after Pérez’s redirection crashed off the post. Bernárdez made a twisting save off the line, but the ball fell to Hedges at four yards, and he found the empty net for his third goal of the season.
Lenhart and the Quakes, though, had one more escape left.
San Jose have a week's rest before traveling to Colorado on Oct. 6, while FC Dallas play next at Chivas USA the following day.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Blas Pérez||Put San Jose to the sword with two smart finishes, and went close to being involved in a couple other potential Dallas goals|
|2||Steven Lenhart||The man not only coined the 'Goonies' legend, but has come to epitomize it, as he showed with two late goals after coming off the bench|
|3||Jackson||Caused the Quakes problems all game long, picked up an assist on Pérez's first goal of the night|