SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes held the defending La Liga champions scoreless through 90 minutes before falling 4-3 in penalty kicks in the 2014 Copa Euroamericana on Sunday, July 27 at Candlestick Park, the final sporting event in the venue’s storied history.
In the penalty kick shootout, Khari Stephenson sent the first penalty over the crossbar for San Jose. Guillherme Siqueira buried his spot kick to give Atletico a 1-0 lead. After conversions from Sam Cronin and Gabi, both Billy Schuler and Miranda missed their team’s third shot attempt. Goals from Shaun Francis and Brandon Barklage were matched by Mario Suarez and Saul to seal the win for Atletico.
Early in the match, Stephenson attempted the Earthquakes’ first shot on goal in the 20th minute after receiving a nifty back-heel from Mike Fucito at the top of the box. Atletico responded in the 22nd minute with an attempt by Koke, who watched his strike trickle past an outstretched Bryan Meredith.
Atletico got their best chance in the 41st minute after Brandon Barklage was whistled for a penalty kick for his challenge on Mario Suarez. The post denied Raul Garcia’s spot kick, and a follow up attempt by Koke was turned away by Meredith to keep the game scoreless heading into halftime.
Tommy Thomspon nearly netted his first goal in an Earthquakes uniform in the 48th minute after coming on as a halftime substitute. Billy Schuler fed Thompson on the run, but the rookie attacker couldn’t direct his shot past a collapsing Miguel Moya in a one-on-one situation.
Both sides exchanged a flurry of chances in the games’ waning moments, none more threatening than a snapping header from Sam Cronin in the 91st minute. Cronin sprayed a ball ahead of a darting Cordell Cato and continued his run into the six-yard box, where he was unable to redirect Cato’s service past Moya for a stoppage-time goal.
The Earthquakes return to MLS action on Saturday, August 2 against Western Conference rivals Seattle Sounders FC at the first event at Levi’s Stadium, presented by BMW. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT on NBC Sports, 1590 KLIV and 1370 KZSF.