SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Steven Lenhart came off the bench to strike twice in the final 10 minutes, rallying the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-2 draw against English Premier League side Swansea City in an international friendly at Buck Shaw Stadium on Tuesday.
The draw keeps San Jose’s unbeaten streak against EPL squads alive. The Earthquakes are 1-0-3 all-time against teams from England’s top flight, including ties against Aston Villa in 1997 and Tottenham Hotspur in 2010 to go along with a 2-1 win against West Bromwich Albion in 2011.
The first scoring chance of the match for San Jose came seven minutes in as Sam Garza intercepted a Swans pass near midfield. The rookie carried the ball forward for two touches before slipping a pass to Sercan Guvenisik. The Turk’s shot shot beat Swans goalkeeper Michael Vorm, but went inches wide of the post.
Daniel Graham sent the Swans in front in the 41st minute. City’s leading scorer from a season ago took advantage of a miscue on San Jose’s back line, finding himself alone in the area before slotting his shot low to the far post past Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham.
San Jose nearly drew level in the 54th minute with a pair of quality chances. Ramiro Corrales bent a well-placed free kick to the far post and Guvenisik headed a shot to the upper corner. Vorm was game to the challenge, diving to touch the ball over the crossbar. On the ensuing corner, Ike Opara got on the other end of Mehdi Ballouchy’s set piece, but the header was just high of the target.
Swansea City doubled their haul in the 60th minute as Chico polished off a cross from Ashley Williams at the 6-yard box, heading it in at the near post. However, the lead wouldn’t stand.
True to their run in MLS play, the Earthquakes would battle back. San Jose inserted a wave of subs midway through the second half, including Lenhart, Shea Salinas, Chris Wondolowski, Simon Dawkins and Rafael Baca.
Salinas and Lenhart linked up for the first score. The speedy winger beat his man to the touchline before sliding a cross back to Lenhart at the near post. The striker one-touched his shot past Vorm to bring the Earthquakes to within one in the 80th minute.
Five minutes later, Lenhart completed the comeback. Baca created the chance, floating a cross into the mix to Lenhart, whose powerful header beat Vorm for the equalizer.
The Earthquakes’ next match is Saturday, Aug. 11 against Seattle Sounders FC at Buck Shaw Stadium, presented by Alaska Airlines. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. PT on Comcast SportsNet California, 1590 KLIV and 1370 KZSF.
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Swansea City
July 31, 2012 – Buck Shaw Stadium
Scoring Summary: SC – Daniel Graham (unassisted) 41; SC – Chico (Ashley Williams) 60; SJ – Steven Lenhart (Shea Salinas) 80; SJ – Steven Lenhart (Rafael Baca, Ike Opara) 85.
Misconduct Summary: SC – Chico (caution) 52; SC – Ben Davies (caution) 64; SC – Andrea Orlandi (caution) 89; SJ – Steven Lenhart (caution) 90.
San Jose Earthquakes – David Bingham (Evan Newton 71), Jed Zayner (Jacob Hustedt 81), Ike Opara, Jason Hernandez, Ramiro Corrales, Sam Garza (Shea Salinas 62), Brad Ring (Thome 81), Khari Stephenson (Rafael Baca 71), Mehdi Ballouchy (Simon Dawkins 62), Sercan Guvenisik (Chris Wondolowski 71), Cesar Diaz Pizarro (Steven Lenhart 62).
TOTAL SHOTS: 11; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; SAVES: 2; FOULS: 14; OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 6.
Swansea City – Michael Vorm, Angel Rangel (Ashley Richards 46), Chico (Gary Monk 75), Ashley Williams (Alan Tate 62), Ben Davies (Federico Bessone 79), Wayne Rutledge (Nathan Dyer 46), Leon Britton (Germaine Agustien 62), Jonathan de Guzman (Mark Gower 75), Luke Moore (Stephen Dobbie 62), Michu (Andrea Orlandi 79), Daniel Graham (Leroy Lita 75).
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; SAVES: 2; FOULS: 13; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 2.