Philadelphia Union earned a road point against San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 18,000 at Avaya Stadium in California. The Union will look to build on their two-two draw this week when they take on Toronto FC on Wednesday in another road contest.
San Jose got the party started early with a goal in the third minute of play. Within a blink of an eye Vako Qazaishvili danced through the Union defense and was able to capitalize with a shot that got past Union goalkeeper John McCarthy to give San Jose the 1-0 lead.
The Union had multiple attempts to equalize the match, but ultimately it was the Morgantown Mertesacker who came up big for Philadelphia. Rookie of the Year candidate Jack Elliott opened up his MLS account after a mad scramble in the box off a Haris Medunjanin short set piece.
After several shots were blocked in front of net by the San Jose defense, Elliott took a one-timer and connected beautifully into the upper 90 to equalize the match at one in the 35th minute. After the first 45, the match was all squared at one goal apiece.
10 minutes into the second half, Philadelphia shocked the home crowd. After a throw-in from Chris Pontius that was first touched by Elliott, the Earthquakes failed to clear the ball away from danger.
Instead, the clearance landed on the foot of Roland Alberg who sent a rocket to the back of the net to give the Union a 2-1 lead in the 55th minute.
Philadelphia continued to make an effort to get the third goal to put San Jose away. Sapong had a chance after fighting off defenders, but his attempt was stopped by Quakes goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell.
Despite several blocks by Elliott to keep the Union ahead, Philadelphia gave up a penalty with less than a minute left in stoppage time. Chris Wondolowski stepped up the penalty spot and equalized the match at two as the final whistle blew.
The Union will have a quick turnaround as they travel north of the border to take on MLS leaders Toronto FC on Wednesday night, then host Atlanta United next Saturday at Talen Energy Stadium.