Chester, PA (July 10, 2010) – Despite being on their heels for much of the match, the San Jose Earthquakes came away with the full three points on Saturday night, topping the Philadelphia Union 2-1 at PPL Park. Arturo Alvarez netted the game winner after Cornell Glen equalized before the break, negating an early goal for Fred that gave Philadelphia an early advantage.
"From the flow of the game, from commitment, you can’t really say bad words about this team and how they pushed forward and even the way we exposed ourselves," manager Peter Nowak said about his club after the match. "There are little things that need to be corrected and fixed very fast because that's what this game is all about. Not about how many shots you have on goal, it was a handball, not a handball, foul, not a foul. At the end of the day, the results stand regardless of the situation. We lost a game we were supposed to win, and that hurts us as much as the other losses we've had. We're supposed to tie or win games."
"I don’t really know what it is, I think we need to go back and look at film," goalkeeper Chris Seitz added. "I do not know if people are turning off or what it is. Obviously in the 90th minute we’re not a team at home that’s going to push for a tie.
"We’re a team out there that’s going to push for a winner and with that it’s about taking chances and if you push guys forward you're going to leave guys open in the back and it’s a risk that we’re going to take at home and try to get a win. With that being said, we need to have cover and be organized enough to cut that out and not allow things that happened today."
The Union’s first chance of the night came in the 12th minute, when Fred found a streaking Michael Orozco Fiscal near the top of the box, but the defender’s one touch blast went just high and wide left.
Philadelphia would strike first in the 14th minute on Fred’s second goal of the season, both of which have come at PPL Park in as many matches. Chris Seitz’s goal kick was headed on by Danny Mwanga to Fred, who had a step on the defense. The Brazilian took one touch towards goal and slotted a low ball through the arms of goalkeeper Jon Busch for a 1-0 lead.
Attacking relentlessly, the Union nearly took a two goal advantage just a minute later. After Mwanga drew a corner kick, Fred found Andrew Jacobson 25 yards from the goal, but the midfielder’s low blast struck the left post and bounced away from a crowded box.
San Jose’s first chance came in the 36th minute, when a bouncing ball in the area came to the feet of Chris Wondolowski, but the Quakes’ leading scorer rocketed a volley just over the net.
In the 37th minute, Jordan Harvey sent a cross in from the endline to Fred, who was waiting at the far post. Fred’s one-time volley back across the goal mouth nearly put the Union up 2-0, but the attempt narrowly missed the frame.
With the Union pressing, San Jose had a chance of their own in the 42nd minutes. Joey Gjertsen had a go from 27 yards out in the 42nd minute, but the midfielder’s strike hit squarely off the cross bar and was subsequently cleared from danger.
San Jose would get their equalizer right before the break. Defender Jason Hernandez sent a long through ball over the top to a streaking Chris Wondolowski, who crossed into the middle to a wide open Cornell Glen. Glen calmly deflected the ball on an angle into the side netting past a diving Seitz to tie the score at 1-1.
Philadelphia had the first chance after the break after a clearance from the back was deflected to Danny Mwanga in the middle of the field. With his momentum carrying him towards San Jose’s goal and Sam Cronin wrestling for position, Mwanga won the ball but Busch was able to make the save and prevent the Union from going ahead.
The Union had a golden opportunity in the 72nd minute off a Le Toux free kick, but after Fred flicked the ball into the middle of the box, Mwanga was unable to get a firm touch in traffic with plenty of open net in front of him.
Continuing their barrage of scoring chances, Le Toux nearly put Philadelphia up in the 82nd minute after Fred slipped a ball through to him in the box, but Busch went down and was able to knock away Le Toux’s attempt.
Against the run of play, the Earthquakes would be the side to break through late in the match. On the counter attack, Arturo Alvarez was in a one-v-one situation with defender Jordan Harvey, and the second half sub took a touch to his left and beat Seitz from the top of the box to take a late lead.
The game-winner stunned the hometown crowd, as all momentum seemed to be in Philadelphia’s favor, but a number of missed chances ultimately led to the Union’s undoing at PPL Park.
“I think next time we need to make sure that we finish our chances because I think that we had a couple of chances (where) we could have scored goals," said forward Danny Mwanga. "Unfortunately, (Busch) was having a good game, but at the same time, I feel like we could have done a much better job trying to put those chances away. So we just have to make sure we finish the chances we get early in the game and try to not give up goals at the last minute of the game.”
The expansion side will take to the pitch again at PPL Park on Wednesday for a mid-week friendly against storied Scottish Premier League side Celtic FC, followed by another league match at home against Toronto FC a week from today.
"That’s soccer, sometimes you dominate a game like that (and still lose)," Seitz added. "We could have played another half hour and I don’t know if we would have scored again. For us it’s a little bit of focus and it’s a little bit of luck and for us the luck wasn’t on our side. We’ll go out Wednesday and try to get things corrected and hopefully play a good performance together."
PHI -- Fred 2 (Danny Mwanga 2) 14
SJ -- Cornell Glen 1 (Chris Wondolowski 1) 45
SJ -- Arturo Alvarez 3 (Bobby Convey 8) 90
PHI -- Fred (caution; Reckless Foul) 52
SJ -- Chris Wondolowski (caution; Reckless Foul) 69
SJ -- Ramiro Corrales (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 93+
San Jose Earthquakes -- Jon Busch, Jason Hernandez, Bobby Burling, Ike Opara, Ramiro Corrales, Sam Cronin, Brandon McDonald (Brad Ring 88), Joey Gjertsen, Bobby Convey, Cornell Glen (Ryan Johnson 67), Chris Wondolowski (Arturo Alvarez 74).
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Leitch, Javier Robles, Omar Jasseh, Joe Cannon.
Philadelphia Union -- Chris Seitz, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Danny Califf, Jordan Harvey, Cristian Arrieta, Fred (Jack McInerney 81), Stefani Miglioranzi, Sebastien Le Toux, Andrew Jacobson (Shea Salinas 64), Alejandro Moreno (Roger Torres 55), Danny Mwanga.
Substitutes Not Used: Nick Zimmerman, Amobi Okugo, Toni Stahl, Brad Knighton.
Referee: Abiodun Okulaja
Referee's Assistants: Brian Poeschel; Craig Lowry
4th Official: David Gantar
Time of Game: 1:51