RECAP: Earthquakes Earn Vital Road Point to Move Into Playoff Position

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The San Jose Earthquakes earned a crucial road point against Western Conference-leading Vancouver Whitecaps FC with a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon.
 
Goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell made five saves to keep San Jose within striking distance and Designated Player Vako tallied the team’s lone goal in the 77th minute to cancel out Vancouver’s first-half score.
 
With San Jose’s draw, and losses by both FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake, the Quakes moved from eighth to sixth place and control their own destiny to reach the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs. A win at home next Sunday would be enough for the Earthquakes to punch their ticket to the postseason.
 
The Quakes return home for the 2017 regular season finale against Minnesota United FC on Sunday, Oct. 22 at Avaya Stadium. The match kicks off at 12:45 p.m. and will be broadcast live on NBCSCA, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.
 
 
MLS Regular Season
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 – 1 San Jose Earthquakes

Oct. 15, 2017 – BC Place in Vancouver, B.C.
Attendance: 22,120
 
Scoring Summary: VAN – Yordy Reyna (Jakob Nerwinski, Cristian Techera) 29; SJ – Vako (Chris Wondolowski, Darwin Ceren) 77.
 
Misconduct Summary: None.
 
 
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: Andrew Tarbell; Shea Salinas, Florian Jungwirth, Victor Bernardez, Kofi Sarkodie; Anibal Godoy, Darwin Ceren; Jahmir Hyka, Chris Wondolowski, Vako (Tommy Thompson 88); Danny Hoesen.
 
SHOTS: 19, SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; SAVES: 5; FOULS: 12; CORNER KICKS: 8, OFFSIDES: 1.
 
 
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC: Stefan Marinovic; Kendall Waston, Jakob Nerwinski, Marcel de Jong, Tim Parker, Aly Ghazal, Yordy Reyna, Brek Shea, Fredy Montero (Erik Hurtado 85), Tony Tchani, Cristian Techera (Alphonso Davies 71).
 
SHOTS: 14; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; SAVES: 4; FOULS: 16; CORNER KICKS: 9; OFFSIDES: 0.
 
 
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH CHRIS LEITCH
 
On the match:
“It was a big goal for us, we definitely needed that, it had big implications for sure. But I don’t think it was against the run of play. I think for large stretches of the game, we showed some really good patience, and we just lacked that final run, that final pass. On that particular play, it was good to see that come off; I think it was Wondo with the assist and Vako with the goal. Really good play there to finally break through. Otherwise, really disciplined Vancouver team.”
 
On the character to get a crucial point after previous road struggles:
“It says a lot. First and foremost, these guys knew what was on the line tonight, and they didn’t run away from it, they ran right to it and took on the challenge head on, and really dug in. It was a good hard fought result here in a tough place to play against obviously the best team in the West as it stands now.”
 
On the finale against Minnesota:
“I think you’ve got to approach it the same way we have this game, the same way we did against Portland last game. It’s running towards these games and understanding the magnitude of the situation, and wanting that on our shoulders. I think that’s what this group and this locker room wants. They want this challenge, they want this opportunity. They want to have it in their hands, and I think these are the games these guys definitely look forward to playing in.”
 
 
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES GOALKEEPER ANDREW TARBELL

 
On his own performance:
“I’m just happy to help the team. They got away from us in transition, and I was just happy to make a few stops to keep us in it.”
 
On the feeling heading into next week’s final match:
“We’re just ready for a good week of training, and just all preparation for next weekend. The locker room is a tight-knit group. We’ve been battling this whole season, and we’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing, keep battling, and be ready for next weekend.”
 
On the ability to get in and have a good playoff run:
“We have the ability for sure. It’s a matter of clicking and having the confidence as a team. We’re on the upswing, and I can’t stress enough how hard this group works. We’re going to stick to that and just keep going.”
 
 
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI
 
On the result:
“It was a big one. Hopefully it keeps propelling us and we use it as a catalyst to keep us going this year. It gives us a big game next weekend.”
 
On the patience while trailing:
“I think that we had a belief in the locker room, and I think the first 30 minutes I thought we came out well and came out with a strong start. They did a great job coming down on the counter and getting that goal, a well-executed goal. To be honest, a couple games in the past a month or two ago, we would have put our heads down and it could have gotten ugly. But we stayed with it, kind of regrouped at halftime, and we kept saying that we have to stay the course. Keep trying to get opportunities and finish them when we do.”
 
On approaching the final match against Minnesota:
“To be honest, to a man we’re a bit disappointed coming off with a tie. And then we saw the other results, and we’ll take it. It’s kind of a funny thing. We’ll come out next weekend and we just have to take care of our business. We win, we’re in. So we know that, and that’s how we’re going to look at it.”

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