STANFORD, Calif. – Sam Garza scored a brace to rally the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-1 comeback win against the visiting Fort Lauderdale Strikers Tuesday night at Stanford’s Cagan Stadium in third round U.S. Open Cup play.
With the win, San Jose advanced to face the Minnesota Stars, 3-1 winners against Real Salt Lake in their third-round match on Tuesday. The Earthquakes will host Minnesota on Tuesday, June 5 at Stanford’s Cagan Stadium with a trip to the quarterfinals on the line.
After falling behind on a 55-yard wonder strike from Fort Lauderdale’s Mark Anderson in the 38th minute, the Earthquakes came out of the break firing. Just two minutes into the second stanza, Garza played the role of creator with a looping cross to the back post where Sercan Guvenisik nearly volleyed in an equalizer if not for a diving fingertip save by Strikers goalkeeper Matt Glaeser.
The Earthquakes continued to pressure the visitors and broke through in the 63rd minute with the first of Garza’s pair. Simon Dawins came off the bench to create the chance, sliding a pass across the top of the area that Guvenisik laid off for Garza. The rookie midfielder then slotted his shot past Glaeser to knot things up at 1-1.
Seven minutes later, Garza secured San Jose’s passage to the U.S. Open Cup fourth round by pounding a rising shot from 22 yards out into the upper netting.
After taking the lead, San Jose kept the ball and saw out the game while still creating several dangerous chances. Steven Lenhart had the clearest look at goal, hitting a shot on the run from inside the area on the right that Glaeser barely got his hands to. Lenhart had another look in the 83rd minute as Guvenisik placed a cross into the mix. Lenhart rose and nodded the ball to the far post, but missed by inches.
The win is San Jose’s first in U.S. Open Cup play since Aug. 3, 2005 when the Quakes knocked off the Portland Timbers 2-0 at PGE Park.
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) at San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
May 29, 2012 – Cagan Stadium, Stanford, Calif.
Scoring Summary: FTL – Mark Anderson (unassisted) 38; SJ – Sam Garza (Sercan Guvenisik, Simon Dawkins) 63; SJ – Sam Garza (Steven Lenhart) 70.
Misconduct Summary: SJ – Justin Morrow (caution) 50; FTL – Scott Lorenz (caution) 55; SJ – Sam Garza (caution) 66; FTL – Walter Restrepo (caution) 89.
San Jose Earthquakes – David Bingham, Brad Ring, Ike Opara, Justin Morrow, Josh Suggs (Steven Beitashour 65), Sam Cronin (Simon Dawkins 56), Jean-Marc Alexandre, Tressor Moreno, Sam Garza, Steven Lenhart, Sercan Guvenisik (Rafael Baca 88).
TOTAL SHOTS: 21; SHOTS ON GOAL: 10; SAVES: 5; FOULS: 7; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 7.
Fort Lauderdale Strikers – Matt Glaeser, Nickardo Blake, Conor Shanosky, Jack Stewart, Scott Lorenz, Leopaldo Morales (Andy Herron 78), Alfonso Motagalvan (Abel Gebor 64), Walter Restrepo, Pecka, Abe Thompson, Mark Anderson.
TOTAL SHOTS: 8; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; SAVES: 8; FOULS: 11; OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 1.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH FRANK YALLOP
On Sam Garza:
“What I like about Sam’s (Garza) performance after the miss earlier in the game, he didn’t worry about it. He got his goal and I thought he was very exciting to watch the rest of the second half. This performance will give him the confidence to play against anybody. He was excellent tonight.”
“It’s like boxing, when a boxer gets knocked to the canvas, it stunned us a bit. At halftime, I just said we had 45 minutes to get back in the game. Let’s pressure high, let’s get out of this and we changed the system a little bit. I felt like our energy and belief was there when we kicked off the second half. We don’t panic, we change things around and I think the ability to keep our composure and come from behind is a good quality for any team to have. When you do it a few times, you don’t worry about the score. You know there is time to get back in it and that’s what this team does.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD STEVEN LENHART
On recent trend of close games:
“These games are tough, but it causes us to stay focused for 90 minutes and get those goals back. I don’t prefer it and I don’t think anyone prefers it. The team showed a lot of fight to come back again. We are looking forward to next week.”
On team’s ability to come back from a deficit:
“We just have guys that know how to do it. We can get a goal at any point of the game, and it’s a good group to be a part of. It was great to see how we kept going again after getting down and we really played our style in the second half.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD SAM GARZA
On second half comeback:
“We kept pressing them and keeping them in jail the second half, and luckily I came through with two goals. It was a great performance by the team and goonies never say die. We found our second wind and I found my second wind. We kept the ball really well and went forward when we needed it. We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game, but we never give up, and that’s been the story of our season for this team.”
On bringing tonight’s performance to MLS:
“Obviously it’s a different level of competition but the confidence helps going forward. I just need to keep getting better every day and working hard in practice and listening to my teammates. It’s going to be a great learning step for me and hopefully I can improve on it.”