The San Jose Earthquakes earned an important 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Saturday, lifting them from eighth place into a tie for sixth. Let’s examine how forward Danny Hoesen’s game-winning goal was scored just after halftime.
1. Perfect tackle: Following a chipped pass by Timbers playmaker Diego Valeri, Quakes defender Victor Bernardez perfectly times his slide tackle to regain possession.
Worth a second look.
2. Composure: Rather than rushing a long ball over the top, Bernardez hustles up field, forcing the Portland Timbers midfield to collapse on him. He then passes it out wide to Vako with acres of space ahead of him.
3. Head up: With his head up the whole time, Vako dribbles at his back-tracking defender before splitting two defenders with a pass to Chris Wondolowski.
4. Smart decision: Wondolowski spins on his first touch and opts against taking a shot from 25 yards. Instead, he chooses to play the ball to Danny Hoesen, who is in a deeper, more threatening position. The weight and location of the pass are both crucial with Liam Ridgewell looming.
5. Quick feet: The Dutch striker deftly touches the ball around his marker before slotting it through the defender’s legs and into the side netting.