TURLOCK, Calif. – Late goals from JJ Koval and Billy Schuler led the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-0 win against Sacramento Republic FC Wednesday night at CSU Stanislaus’ Warrior Stadium.
The Earthquakes dominated the run of play throughout the match and finally broke through in the 86th minute thanks to a dynamic sequence that ended with Koval heading a shot into an open net. In addition to the win, forward Alan Gordon made his preseason debut in the 71st minute and helped create several scoring chances during his 19 minutes on the field
Cordell Cato had the game’s first golden chance in the 28th minute after a lofted ball across the field from Brandon Barklage saw the winger free on goal. Cato took a touch and then had his shot blocked by an on-rushing Republic FC goalkeeper, Jake Gleeson.
Adam Jahn had the next look in the 53rd minute with a roundhouse attempt at the far post. Atiba Harris sent the cross in and Jahn had a go with his left foot on the volley, but misfired wide.
The Earthquakes had another great chance in the 67th minute after Jahn nodded a corner kick on target from close range. The ball was net-bound, but a Republic FC defender cleared it off the line. Jason Hernandez had the next look, but his sliding shot went inches wide.
JJ Koval broke the deadlock in the 86th minute with a header in front of an open net. Walter Martinez found Alan Gordon at the far post where the bulky target man was able to head the ball back across the box. The pass found Koval in stride for the finish.
San Jose nearly doubled their lead two minutes later after Billy Schuler beat the keeper one-on-one, but the goal was whistled back for a foul. Gordon was again in the mix to create the opportunity.
The Earthquakes continued to pepper the goal late, this time with Sam Garza leading the charge. Gordon held his defender off and directed a pass off his body to spring Garza in the area. The third-year winger beat the last defender and then tried to slide a pass across the goal face, but it was cleared by a Republic FC defender for a corner.
Garza got his assist moments later on a corner from the other side of the field. His pass found the feet of Schuler, who tucked his shot past Gleeson to make it 2-0.
The Earthquakes open their competitive schedule on Tuesday, March 11 against Deportivo Toluca FC (Mexico) in the first game of a two-leg CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal. Kickoff is 7 p.m. PT at Buck Shaw Stadium. San Jose will play its first MLS regular season game on Saturday, March 15 against Real Salt Lake at Buck Shaw Stadium at 7:30 p.m. PT.
San Jose Earthquakes 2:0 Sacramento Republic FC
Warrior Stadium at CSU Stanislaus – Turlock, Calif.
March 5, 2014 – Attendance: NA
Scoring Summary: SJ – JJ Koval (Alan Gordon, Walter Martinez) 86; SJ – Billy Schuler (Sam Garza) 90+1.
Misconduct Summary: SAC – Mickey Daly (caution) 17; SJ – Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (caution) 39; SJ – Clarence Goodson (caution) 65; SJ – Joe Sofia (caution) 83.
San Jose Earthquakes: Jon Busch (David Bingham 81), Brandon Barklage (Brian Niel 71), Jason Hernandez (Joe Sofia 71), Clarence Goodson (Ty Harden 71), Jordan Stewart (Shaun Francis 71), Cordell Cato (Sam Garza 71), Sam Cronin (Khari Stephenson 71), Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (JJ Koval 71), Atiba Harris (Walter Martinez 71), Chris Wondolowski (Billy Schuler 71), Adam Jahn (Alan Gordon 71).
Sacramento Republic FC – Jake Gleeson, Nemanja Vukovic (Jack Avesyan 56), Jose Gonzalez (Emrah Klimenta 71), Mickey Daly, Harrison Delbridge, Rodrigo Lopez, Dakota Collins (Thomas Stewart 58), Max Alvarez, Octavio Guzman (Aaron Long 46), Ivan Mirkovic (Chad Bond 71), Justin Braun (Chad Bartlome 71).