2012 Aug 11

Sounders fall in San Jose, scoring in added time before giving up the match winner

San Jose Earthquakes  2 - 1  Seattle Sounders FC

Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara, CA

70' SJ: Simon Dawkins
90' SEA: Fredy Montero
90' SJ: Steven Lenhart (Shea Salinas)

San Jose: Jon Busch; Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow; Marvin Chavez (Shea Salinas 87'), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Simon Dawkins; Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski.
Substitutes not used: David Bingham, Ramiro Corrales, Ike Opara, Jed Zayner, Mehdi Ballouchy, Khari Stephenson.

Seattle: Michael Gspurning; Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Zach Scott, Marc Burch; Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose (Mauro Rosales 82'), Alex Caskey (Fredy Montero 84'); Christian Tiffert, Sammy Ochoa (Eddie Johnson 68').
Substitutes not used: Andrew Weber, Leo Gonzalez, Patrick Ianni, Cordell Cato.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Seattle Sounders FC lost a heartbreaker at the San Jose Earthquakes, finding an equalizer in added time past 90 minutes only to fall to a San Jose corner kick goal in the final seconds. Fredy Montero's header offset Simon Dawkins' earlier goal, then Steven Lenhart's header won the match.

In a defensive match, neither side got a lot of chances. Lenhart missed an early chance when he was very open at the far post and volloyed a free kick wide of the opposite post.

At 16' Christian Tiffert, in his first start for the Sounders, bent a free kick up the middle and in front of the far post, just out of reach of Zach Scott's run.

Midway in the half Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning made his first good save when Lenhart headed a corner kick down in front of the keeper's feet. At a half hour Dawkins turned nicely near the arc and missed the lower near corner by just inches.

Sammy Ochoa's bicycle kick off a diagonal drop pass from Tiffert would have been a candidate for goal of the year had it gone in, but it hit the top of the bar near the far post.

Gspurning closed the first half with a save of a 20-yard shot up the middle by Marvin Chavez.

Lenhart's next chance came at 58', heading a nice cross down towards the lower far corner from six yards, and Gspurning swatted it away with a fine save.

Then it was Seattle's turn as Andy Rose dove low 15 yards out to head Tiffert's cross towards the lower far corner, and goalkeeper Jon Busch pushed it wide. On the resulting corner kick by Tiffert, Ochoa hit the bar again with a header.

A San Jose free kick up the middle gave Chris Wondolowski his chance, but he aimed his 6-yard header inches wide of the post.

70' SJ: Dawkins. A long San Jose throw-in was headed down in the penalty area by Scott, and it bounced right to Dawkins, who threaded a first-touch shot through the crowd and into the lower near corner. 1-0 San Jose.

Eddie Johnson soon had a chance to equalize when he won the aerial challenge for Adam Johansson's cross to the far post, but the shot went inches over the bar.

Seattle's substitutes provided the offense at the end. Brad Evans volleyed a nice cross over the bar from close.

90' SEA: Montero. Seattle's goal also came from a long throw-in that was not dealt with by the defense. Victor Bernardez headed it down on goal, and at the far post Sam Cronin made the save but popped the ball up in front of goal. Montero was there to pounce on it and head it in from point blank range. 1-1.

90' SJ: Lenhart (Salinas). The last chance was a corner kick taken by substitute Shea Salinas. Lenhart beat the Sounders defenders to the ball in front of goal and headed it into the top far corner. 2-1 San Jose, and the final whistle blew soon after.

           SJ   SEA
Shots:     14    13
Saves:      3     3
Corners:    1     8
Fouls:     11    15
Offsides:   4     0

15' SJ: Bernardez cautioned for a tactical foul on Tiffert
82' SEA: Johansson cautioned for handling

Referees: Baldomero Toledo; Mike Kampmeinert, Paul Scott; Alejandro Mariscal

Attendance: 10,744

Post-Match Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

On Seattle's performance against San Jose: "We've played a lot of games. At the end of the day, I'm proud of what we did and proud of our ability to come back. There were times when we gave up territorially a little bit more than we would have liked, but at the end when you look at good, clean chances, we had as many as San Jose did."

On San Jose's game-winning goal: "It's inexcusable to give up that goal late. We talked about [San Jose's set pieces] and showed our guys examples of it, and we had done a good job of marking Lenhart on all the free kicks and corners up until [the goal]. You can't give him a free path where he has three or four yards to run up to the ball because he's a big guy and he jumps well and we paid the price for it."

On mentality of the team after two close losses: "We've just have to keep going. With our character, I think we're right there. I don't think there's any team in the league that we have to fear. We're starting to get Tiffert integrated into the team; I thought he played well tonight. Now hopefully we can get into a rhythm in terms of not having to play every weekend and midweek and play all these games in a short period of time."

On fresh faces in the lineup on Saturday: "I think the guys adapted well. I thought Tiffert did a good job underneath and I thought Sammy Ochoa did what we asked him to do. Brad was playing wide right, which is a different position for him. I thought all the guys stepped up and pretty much did what we asked them to do, but at the end of the day, we made a mistake with 15, 20 seconds to go in the game; that's the last piece of the puzzle. We have the whole puzzle in front of us and we need to find that last piece."

Michael Gspurning

On Seattle's last two games: "I don't know - I have no words for what happened this week. Losing two times in one week is not normal, but from the performance we can keep our head up high. We had two targets and we didn't reach both, so we have to speak about this, but in the end we can't change anything."

On his team's effort to come back and equalize late against San Jose: "I think our effort tonight showed the character of the team. We had a big effort, but in the end we didn't reach our two targets, so the effort was for nothing."

Christian Tiffert

On getting the start for Seattle: "It was a good feeling. I said it before, I'm fit and I think I had some good action and good crosses. I also think we could play better because we have many good players, good technical players. San Jose played better than us tonight, but maybe next game we can create more chances."

On Seattle's last two games: "After Wednesday, it was a penalty but we lost nearly the same way late in the game. That is terrible, but it can happen - that's football. San Jose's [Lenhart] had a good header to win the game and that will happen."

San Jose Earthquakes

Mark Watson - Assistant Coach

On win: "Once again, this team showed great spirit and resiliency and found a way to win the game. They really don't stop playing until the final whistle blows and they don't put their heads down for a second. We could have done that after Seattle tied the game, but they kept going and got the win. It was a great ball by Shea and an excellent finish by Lenny."

On game: "Seattle is a very good team and they made it tough for us out there. Each team had good moments in the game and it was back-and-forth, so give them a lot of credit. I think the difference was that we came out strong in the second half and had a good stretch of play. We were a bit unlucky not to get one earlier in the half, before Simon got his goal. Most teams would have not come back from giving up that late goal, but this team just keeps going."

Steven Lenhart

On last goal: "It really is more about the team than it is about me scoring. This team never gives up and keeps going all the way to the end. Shea played in a great ball and tonight it happened to be me that got on the end of it. The team went hard all game and we got the win."

On team's attitude: "We are playing well as a team and we have a great attitude. Whether it is the first minute or the last minute, we are playing hard and creating chances. We are playing for each other and we are having success. That shows at the end of games."

Simon Dawkins

On goal: "Steven had a long throw and I saw the ball get knocked down. I knew that if I took a touch, I might lose the scoring opportunity so I decided to hit it one-time. Luckily, it found the corner and went in."

On dramatic finishes: "I want to say that I am surprised but it seems to be happen every game. We have a bunch of guys that keep pushing and we all believe that we will find a way in the end. You see it in training. We score a lot of goals there so when we get to the games, we all have confidence that we can score no matter what minute it is."