Santa Clara, Ca. (September 15, 2010) – Despite controlling the tempo throughout the match, the Philadelphia Union were unable to steal points on the road against the San Jose Earthquakes, who rode Chris Wondoloski’s ninth goal of the season to a 1-0 victory Wednesday at Buck Shaw Stadium.
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The first dangerous chance of the match came in the 8th minute, when Bobby Convey sent a cross from the left to Joey Gjertsen at the far post. Gjertsen centered to Geovanni, who attempted a back heel with Knighton out of position, but a sea of Union defenders were able to deflect the ball away from danger to help the Union dodge an early bullet.
The Union had two chances in the middle of the first half off of long-range strikes, but Jon Busch was able to come up big for San Jose on both occasions. San Jose’s ‘keeper lunged to his left to stop a strike from Stefani Miglioranzi in the 22nd minute, and then smothered a rifle from Andrew Jacobson in the 27th to preserve the scoreless draw.
Philadelphia had another opportunity in the 41st minute after Sebastien Le Toux slid a through ball between two defenders to Alejandro Moreno within the box, but the veteran forward’s angled attempt was blocked by a diving Busch.
San Jose had a chance of their own from distance in the 42nd minute when Khari Stephenson struck a shot from 30 yards out, but Brad Knighton was able to get his body in front of it and Wondolowski was whistled offside before having the chance to latch onto a dangerous rebound.
While both sides struggled to create chances in the early portion of the second half, San Jose capitalized in the 69th minute to take a one goal advantage. After Convey’s cross from the left found its way through the area, Arturo Alvarez gathered the ball and sent a cross back into the middle for Wondolowski. The Earthquakes’ leading scorer found space and headed the targeted service past a diving Knighton for a 1-0 lead.
The Union’s had a chance to equalize before stoppage time, but Busch broke up Jacobson's through ball to a streaking Le Toux in the 83rd minute. After Knighton made a tremendous diving save off of a free kick from Geovanni in the 89th minute, the visitors’ had another golden opportunity to draw level in the waning moments of the match. Following a Le Toux free kick, second half sub Shea Salinas sent a low ball into a crowded box that seemed destined for the back of the net when it was redirected on frame, but it came directly to Busch who secured both the ball and three points for the Earthquakes.
The loss drops Philadelphia’s record to 6-12-6 and deals a potentially fatal blow to the club's playoff hopes. The Union will have to wait 10 days before their next match, when they’ll take on Chivas USA at home on September 25.
KCW – Chris Wondolowski 9 (Arturo Alvarez 1) 69’
PHI -- Andrew Jacobson (caution; Tactical Foul) 20
SJ -- Bobby Convey (caution; Delaying a Restart) 90
SJ -- Arturo Alvarez (caution; Delaying a Restart) 94+
Philadelphia Union -- Brad Knighton, Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Jordan Harvey, Fred (Danny Mwanga 72), Andrew Jacobson, Stefani Miglioranzi, Justin Mapp (Jack McInerney 74), Sebastien Le Toux, Alejandro Moreno (Shea Salinas 58).
Substitutes Not Used: Cristian Arrieta, Kyle Nakazawa, Amobi Okugo, Chris Seitz.
TOTAL SHOTS: 9; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; FOULS: 11; OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 5
San Jose Earthquakes -- Jon Busch, Chris Leitch, Jason Hernandez, Brandon McDonald, Tim Ward, Joey Gjertsen (Arturo Alvarez 46), Sam Cronin, Khari Stephenson (Eduardo 46), Bobby Convey, Geovanni, Chris Wondolowski.
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Burling, Cornell Glen, Ryan Johnson, Brad Ring, Alex Horwath.
TOTAL SHOTS: 8; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; FOULS: 11; OFFSIDES: 6; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 5
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee's Assistants: Ian Anderson; Chris Strickland
4th Official: Yader Reyes
Time of Game: 1:54
Weather: Clear and 65 degrees