SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes traded some shoves, a couple of rough tackles and a goal apiece on Wednesday night, ending their Western Conference clash at CenturyLink Field in a 1-1 draw.
Without superstar forward Clint Dempsey in the starting line-up, the Sounders used an early second-half goal from replacement Chad Barrett to seize the lead and the momentum. But an equalizer from San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski later in the half would ultimately be enough for the Earthquakes to salvage the point.
Seattle managed 11 attempts on goal in the first half compared to four for San Jose. However most came from long-distance and were either blocked by San Jose defenders or saved easily by Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch.
Seattle did have a good opportunity in the 43rd minute after forward Obafemi Martins unleashed a rocket shot from just outside the San Jose penalty box. But Busch made a diving save to keep the game a scoreless going into the break.
The scoreless tie would prove to be short-lived as the Sounders snatched the lead in the opening minute of the second half after Barrett found himself in space off a beautiful through pass from Martins. The veteran forward calmly tucked the ball by Busch and into the San Jose net to give Seattle the 1-0 advantage.
But the Earthquakes struck back in the 65th minute after Cordell Cato knocked a cross past Seattle defender DeAndre Yedlin to find Wondolowski poaching on the back post for a simple equalizing tap-in, stunning the crowd of 38,909.
Neither side managed to tally a game-winning goal after that, although both teams had chances down the stretch. Dempsey had perhaps the best look deep into stoppage time, managing to get a look at a header off a long pass from Martins. But J.J. Koval was able to do just enough to put Dempsey off, giving Busch a relatively easy save to end the threat and seal the result.
Despite not managing a victory, Seattle move back into a first place tie in the Supporters’ Shield race with Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake with 42 points. San Jose, meanwhile, move to 6-9-8 on the season with 26 points overall.
The Sounders are back in action on Sunday evening when they travel down I-5 to face the Portland Timbers, while San Jose are in action later that evening at Philadelphia.