SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes knocked off Norwich City FC of the English Premier League 1-0 in an international friendly at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday.
Trinidadian winger Cordell Cato scored the game’s only goal in the seventh minute, stealing a Norwich City FC pass intended for goalkeeper Mark Bunn before slotting a shot past the charging net minder. Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the field, San Jose rose to the occasion by limiting the Canaries to four shots and only two on goal.
The win improved San Jose to 2-0-3 all-time in international friendlies against teams from the Premiership. The Earthquakes are also unbeaten at Buck Shaw Stadium in exhibitions with a 4-0-3 mark since moving into the facility in 2008.
San Jose were the more dangerous team over 90 minutes, out-shooting their guests 10-4 while looking especially threatening in the second half.
The Earthquakes created a quality chance midway through the second half with goalkeeper David Bingham initiating the action. Bingham dropkicked the ball 70 yards downfield where Sam Garza turned his defender and found himself alone on the right side of the box. Garza waited for his strike partner, Marcus Tracy, to run onto the play and sent a cross toward the near post. The ball found Tracy, but the lanky target man couldn’t quite redirect the ball on target.
Adam Jahn had a golden chance to double San Jose’s lead in the 75th minute. Shea Salinas found Garza in space on the left, sending a weighted pass that found the young attacker in stride. Garza one-timed his cross, locating Jahn at the near post for a volleyed attempt, but veteran Canary goalkeeper John Ruddy made a diving save to prevent the goal.
The Earthquakes return to action on Saturday, July 27 against the Portland Timbers at Buck Shaw Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. PT on Comcast SportsNet California, 1590 KLIV and 1370 KZSF.
San Jose Earthquakes 1:0 Norwich City FC
July 20, 2013 – Buck Shaw Stadium
Scoring Summary: SJ – Cordell Cato (unassisted) 7.
Misconduct Summary: SJ – Dan Gargan (caution) 29; NCFC – Ricky Van Wolfswinkel (caution) 35; NCFC – Javier Garrido (caution) 40.
San Jose Earthquakes – David Bingham, Steven Beitashour (Victor Bernardez 62), Brad Ring, Dan Gargan, Jordan Stewart (Justin Morrow 62), Cordell Cato, Mehdi Ballouchy, Ramiro Corrales, Sam Garza, Walter Martinez (Shea Salinas 52), Marcus Tracy (Adam Jahn 71).
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; SAVES: 2; FOULS: 7; OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 1.
Norwich City FC – Mark Bunn (John Ruddy 46), Jacob Butterfield (Wes Hoolahan 46), Daniel Ayala (Ryan Bennett 61), Russell Martin, Javier Garrido (Andrew Surman 75), Adel Gafaiti (Steven Whittaker 46), Jonny Howson (LeRoy Fer 46), Alexander Tettey (David Fox 80), Anthony Pilkington (Elliott Bennett 61), Nathan Redmond (Nathan Snodgrass 46), Ricky Van Wolfswinkel (Luciano Becchio 46).
TOTAL SHOTS: 4; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; SAVES: 2; FOULS: 14; OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 1.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES INTERIM HEAD COACH MARK WATSON
On Cordell Cato:
“The most encouraging thing about his play tonight was that his goal came from being in the right spot defensively and pressuring the ball. It’s something we have been working a lot on in trainings; we knew that if we did it well we would get a lot of opportunities. He [Cato] found his opportunity and got his reward by getting his name on the score sheet.”
On Brad Ring’s performance:
“I thought Brad did very well tonight. He is steady and a great guy to have on the squad. When he has opportunities, he does well. It’s hard because his minutes can be few and far between, but he is always ready to play and trains hard for us and that showed tonight.”
On the team’s overall performance:
“I thought the guys played well tonight. Before the game we talked about how there may not be any points on the line tonight, but everyone is playing for something. Tonight was a chance for us to play for pride, for our fans, and to show that we can compete against an EPL team. All the guys understood that and played a fantastic match.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER CORDELL CATO
On first-half goal:
“It was a long ball played up and Walter [Martinez] was pressing the defender. I saw the defender size up to play the ball back to the goalkeeper. I just took a guess to try to gain possession; sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. This time I was fortunate enough to intercept the ball and ultimately slide it past the keeper for the goal.”
On his play:
“It felt good to play a full 90 minutes tonight. As a player, the more minutes you can log, the more in tune you can be with not only your timing, but with the speed of the game. We won both friendlies this week and I feel myself being more fit with the more time I get on the pitch.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES DEFENDER JORDAN STEWART
On defensive play:
“The back line was strong tonight. I thought we communicated well, not only across the back four, but also as a team. That is usually the case when you have the forwards pressing, then you can all press together as a unit. It was nice to get a clean sheet against a very good side in Norwich City [FC].”
On his experience in the EPL:
“I haven’t seen too much separation between MLS and English Premier League. In MLS you need to be fit and you need to be good on the ball, which is very similar to the EPL. It was a great win tonight and overall we’ve won three matches in a row. Albeit two were friendlies, as a team whenever you start winning matches, you start to build confidence.”