SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes earned a 2-2 draw against the reigning Eastern Conference champions Toronto FC at Earthquakes Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Quakes center back Oswaldo Alanís, making his MLS debut, tallied an assist and later scored a dazzling direct free kick five minutes into stoppage time to secure the point for San Jose.
After trailing 2-0, San Jose got goals by Andy Rios and Alanís to complete the comeback. Cristian Espinoza, who finished with a team-high 13 assists last season, registered an assist on Rios’ goal and drew the foul that earned the game-tying free kick.
San Jose now turns its attention to Minnesota United FC, who head to Earthquakes Stadium next Saturday, March 7 at 4:45 p.m., presented by Honda. The match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Bay Area, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.
The Earthquakes now hold a 6-5-6 all-time record against Toronto FC, including a 3-2-3 record at home.
Andy Rios scored his first goal of the season and the second of his MLS career.
Cristian Espinoza was credited with an assist on Rios’ goal. It marked his first assist of the season and the 14th of his MLS career.
Saturday’s match marked the MLS debut of Quakes defender Oswaldo Alanís. Alanís was credited with an assist on Rios’ goal, marking his first assist of the season and the first of his MLS career. He later scored the game-tying goal in stoppage time, marking his first goal of the season and the first of his MLS career.
Alanís’ goal was the first direct free kick scored by an Earthquakes player since Marvin Chavez on May 18, 2013.
The Quakes have lost just one of their five home openers at Earthquakes Stadium dating back to the venue’s inaugural season in 2015 (4-1-1).
MLS Regular Season
San Jose Earthquakes 2 – 2 Toronto FC
Feb. 29, 2019 – Earthquakes Stadium in San Jose, Calif.
Man of the Match: Oswaldo Alanís
Scoring Summary: TOR – Alejandro Pozuelo (penalty) 40; Richie Laryea (unassisted) 51; SJ – Andy Rios (Cristian Espinoza, Oswaldo Alanís) 53; SJ – Oswaldo Alanís (unassisted) 90+5.
Misconduct Summary: SJ – Tommy Thompson (caution) 33; SJ – Jackson Yueill (caution) 70; TFC – Jozy Altidore (caution) 71; SJ – Guram Kashia (caution) 81; TFC – Tsubasa Endoh (caution) 90+3.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: Daniel Vega; Nick Lima, Oswaldo Alanís, Guram Kashia, Tommy Thompson (Shea Salinas 63); Vako (Carlos Fierro 72), Jackson Yueill, Magnus Eriksson, Cristian Espinoza; Danny Hoesen (Chris Wondolowski 66), Andy Rios.
SHOTS: 11, SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; SAVES: 2; FOULS: 17; CORNER KICKS: 3, OFFSIDES: 3.
TORONTO FC: Quentin Westberg; Justin Morrow, Chris Mavinga, Omar Gonzalez, Auro Jr.; Marky Delgado, Alejandro Pozuelo (Liam Fraser 76), Jonathan Osorio, Jacob Shaffelburg (Richie Laryea HT), Tsubasa Endoh; Jozy Altidore (Patrick Mullins 79).
SHOTS: 10, SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; SAVES: 3; FOULS: 13; CORNER KICKS: 7, OFFSIDES: 2.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH MATIAS ALMEYDA
On the team’s performance in their first regular-season match:
“It may have been because this is just the start of the season. It’s difficult to start a season and do everything to perfection. I think what’s important is the path up until 95th minute, what the intentions were, in this case, myself as a coach and what we are looking for in the game. I saw the numbers, the statistics and we had control of the match. We controlled the match most of the time. Overcoming a 2-0 result in modern soccer is not easy. So maybe we’re missing a couple of things, but I will take the team’s performance. I can’t forget what 95% of this team was like a year and a half ago, and also can’t forget how the season was at the beginning of last year. This shows that the team improved on how they begin. What I like most is that this team will never give up. It is clear to us where we want to get to and how we want to get there, to the last game.”
On Oswaldo Alanís being the first Mexican player from the latest transfer window to score:
“He was the least talked about. I believe in divine justice. I think we should firstly show gratitude, as we’ve done publicly, to the people at Chivas that allowed us to us bring Alanís to our club. I think he is a great player. It’s generally the forwards and offensive midfielders who carry reflectors, and those who have worked in soccer. We should carefully analyze soccer to demonstrate its virtues. I’m saying this because I played in a position where I was criticized often but also made me value the work of players and that to an extent is how soccer is lived. It makes me very happy for him, his family. It especially brings me joy because he is a humble person and a great player, and hopefully he stays on this path.”
On if he was surprised by Oswaldo Alanis’ goal:
“I think sometimes it plays in your favor and sometimes against you. I know Alanís. It’s not his first goal scored from a free kick. I think he played well throughout all 90 minutes, with a certain personality and enthusiasm that demonstrated why we brought him on, and he showed that. I think the beginning for any player at any club, like the one that he had today, is the dream start for every player. I’m happy with the performance from the entire team even if we did not tie because the intention was to overcome and get the result. There is something else that is very important here. This opponent is one of the best teams in the league. In the recent years, they got to the final phases so I cannot minimalize the opponent. That makes us happy because we competed and were equal to an opponent that is often in the final phase of this league.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ESPINOZA
On his comfort in the second year of this system:
“I feel good. It’s always nice to score goals. It’s more for the confidence of the team. I hope we can keep having the same intensity as we did today. That’s what’s going to bring us positive results.”
On coming back from a two-goal deficit to earn a point:
“It’s a great satisfaction for everyone because we made a great sacrifice throughout the whole game. Losing the game was a bit unfair because they scored both of their goals using less intensity in comparison to ours. Coming back and then tying the game was something that we are very grateful for. It’s a really positive push for us as we start the season.”
On the game-winning free kick:
“It was a play that I just didn’t get the chance throughout the whole game because every time I had the ball, I had two or three people marking me. After that it was a one-on-one play. Fortunately, it turned out to be a free kick which Oswaldo Alanis had the chance to score the goal. The decision for him to kick it at that moment was something we’d been training for throughout the week.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES DEFENDER OSWALDO ALANIS
On his initial reaction before scoring the free kick:
“You always think about scoring every single time, and that everything turns out well. I had the instinct of shooting it to the second post, and also hoped that maybe someone could kick it in if my shot was off. But in the end, everything turned out well.”
On MLS debut and scoring:
“I think it's a good first step. It's one more step in my career, one more step for what's to come. I am working on my confidence and starting off like this definitely helps with that. I have always taken one step at a time, and this is only the start of the season.”