SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Earthquakes earned a 2-1 victory Saturday night over the Portland Timbers at Avaya Stadium. With the win, the Quakes are now tied for the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with Real Salt Lake (42 points), but sit in seventh on the goal differential tiebreaker.
Earthquakes Designated Player Vako opened the scoring in the 16th minute to give the Quakes the early lead, and forward Danny Hoesen doubled the advantage early in the second half. Portland tallied in the waning moments of the game to change the final score, but not the result.
San Jose held Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri without a single shot on target, snapping his streak of nine consecutive games with a goal.
Following the international break next weekend, the Quakes return to action on Saturday, Oct. 15 when they take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC at 4:30 p.m. at BC Place. The match will be broadcast live on NBCSCA, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF
MLS Regular Season
San Jose Earthquakes 2 - 1 Portland Timbers
Sept. 30, 2017 - Avaya Stadium in San Jose, CA Attendance: 18,000
Scoring Summary: SJ - Vako (Jahmir Hyka) 16; SJ - Danny Hoesen (Chris Wondolowski, Vako) 49; POR - Sebastian Blanco (Darlington Nagbe) 87.
Misconduct Summary: SJ - Victor Bernardez (caution) 56; POR - Vytas (caution) 71.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: Andrew Tarbell; Shea Salinas, Florian Jungwirth, Victor Bernardez, Kofi Sarkodie; Anibal Godoy, Darwin Ceren; Jahmir Hyka (Tommy Thompson 85), Chris Wondolowski, Vako; Danny Hoesen.
SHOTS: 19, SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; SAVES: 1; FOULS: 12; CORNER KICKS: 4, OFFSIDES: 3.
PORTLAND TIMBERS: Jeff Attinella; Larrys Mabiala, Roy Miller (Vytas 54), Liam Ridgewell, Zarek Valentin (Alvas Powell 76); Darlington Nagbe, Diego Valeri; Sebastian Blanco, Diego Valeri, Dairon Asprilla (David Guzman 54); Darren Mattocks.
SHOTS: 16; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; SAVES: 4; FOULS: 10; CORNER KICKS: 2; OFFSIDES: 2.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH CHRIS LEITCH
On his level of satisfaction with the victory:
"I'm satisfied with the outcome of the game. I thought for the most part we started to finish and the guys were playing for each other and scrapping for every loose ball. In addition to that, there was some really good quality on the ball and a commitment to being on the ball and moving it and being effective with it. I thought from start to finish it was pretty complete."
On the difference between Wednesday's game against Chicago and tonight:
"For me it just looked like a little more confidence and a little more belief in each other and themselves. They just really wanted this game tonight for sure. They wanted to be on it. They wanted to be on the ball for sure."
On team chemistry:
"I think it's pretty good. At this point in the season, it's really important for that chemistry to make sure that the guys that have been in this part of the season before really do everything that they can to make sure that everyone knows how important and what the consequences are of every play and every game now. You say that throughout the entire year, but you play a whole year and then you have three games left to really try to put your final stamp on a season."
On how the team will bring the confidence to the next game:
"I don't see us having the level of confidence that we had against Chicago again. I just don't. I think that this team is focused and driven and understands the task at hand. I'm going to chalk the Chicago one up to an anomaly and believe that that confidence will be with us in the final two games."
On Vako's performance:
"He's gifted at protecting the ball and being strong and holding it up in tight spaces. Being able to see the next pass is a really good quality. He's dangerous when he gets on the ball, especially in the final third. As you saw tonight, he has that extra quality when he's around goal. When he gets his chance he has the quality to finish, which is obviously what you want out of one of your attacking players. Vako showed that tonight."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD DANNY HOESEN
On bouncing back from the midweek loss to Chicago:
"I think we were very upset after the Chicago game. We played with not a lot of confidence and I have to say they played really well and I think they analyzed us good. There was only one way to get into this game and that was fighting and working for each other and I think the energy from the first minute was really good, so I think we continued that for the whole game and you see we're a pretty good team."
On playing in his preferred striker role:
"Well, it's more familiar for me. I like to find my own spaces and make my own runs. If you play on the side, it's not as much space as a striker so I felt good today. I was happy to play there and hopefully I showed enough to keep playing there."
On the team's attitude toward the match:
"It was a must-win, you know? It was all or nothing and today we had to win, otherwise I think there was no chance we were going to make the playoffs, so we had to win and everybody knew it. We were ready. We came together yesterday for a meal, so we wanted to make sure that everybody was on the same page and I think everybody was."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI
On the team's performance:
"I'm proud that we responded the way that we did. Bit irked that it took all of us, especially myself, took Wednesday night off because that was a very important one, but we moved on and it was a huge three points tonight and it got us straight back in the thick of things."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER VAKO
On the team's performance tonight:
"I think we deserved three points today. We played good from the beginning and we deserved three points."
On the team's confidence:
"I think that we are a good team and today we showed that we can play very good football. We deserved three points from the beginning, we were the team that wanted to win the most on the pitch."