Match Recap: San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 Colorado Rapids
Two veteran strikers, with 73 years and almost 300 goals between them, stole the spotlight on Saturday night as the Colorado Rapids drew 1-1 at San Jose Earthquakes, writes Richard Fleming.
Kei Kamara, 36, came off the bench to meet a Cole Bassett corner nine minutes from time for the 129th goal of his extensive career.
That cancelled out a converted penalty from Chris Wondolowski, a 37-year-old with now 162 goals to his name, and the all-time leader in MLS history.
It was a second successive 1-1 result for the Rapids, who have now gone six games without a win (0-3-3), but it may also be a second game in which they will feel they deserved more.
Robin Fraser, the Rapids' head coach, had this to say afterwards: "For me it’s a good night; it’s a successful night.
"We certainly feel like we should have and could have won the game, but if you look at what’s coming up and the number of games that are coming up, I think the most important thing is that we’re playing well even if we don’t get all of the points we want, we get points as we go along.”
The previous weekend against Sporting Kansas City they played against 10 men for the final 15 minutes of the contest but emerged with only a point.
At Earthquakes Stadium they had the better chances, including a Diego Rubio drive off the base of the upright, and a dangerous cross which Andre Shinyashiki was inches away from connecting with.
And yet, it was San Jose who stole the lead just short of the hour. A long ball over the top had the Rapids back-tracking, and an attempted low cross from the by-line struck the arm of the sliding Sam Vines. Veteran referee Kevin Stott awarded the penalty, which Wondolowski gently teased down the middle of the goal for an unexpected lead.
Fraser made changes, bringing on Jonathan Lewis and Kamara, for Shinyashiki and Rubio. Braian Galvan got his longest run-out in a Rapids jersey, entering for Younes Namli with 15 minutes to go.
The equalizer, though, did not materialize until the 81st minute. Bassett - on set-piece duties in the absence of Jack Price - delivered a corner from the left, Quakes ‘keeper Daniel Vega ventured into no-man’s land, and Kamara rose to nod down into the unguarded net.
Bassett admitted: "(We're) a little disappointed with the result, obviously. We always come here to win, and even though it was a good comeback by the boys to get a draw, in the end we had too many chances that we didn’t finish off that definitely need to be finished to put away the game.
"I think in the first half they didn’t really have many chances at all so we have to capitalize on those and then the second half we had a couple that could have gone in as well. We definitely need to finish those off and try to get the three points.”
Kamara’s goal was only the second scored by the Rapids inside this stadium, but it was not enough for their first win in San Jose since 2011.
The Rapids remain 10th in the Western Conference, but only on goal difference from bottom side Vancouver Whitecaps (STANDINGS).
Next for them is a home game on Wednesday against a Houston Dynamo side which has won three in a row. It will mark a first return to DICK’S Sporting Goods Park for club legend, former captain and former head coach, Pablo Mastroeni, since he was let go three years ago.
Coverage of the Colorado Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo is on Altitude and AltitudeNOW from 6.30PM.
Quakes: Daniel Vega; Paul Marie (Tommy Thompson 70’), Florian Jungwirth, Oswaldo Alanis, Marcos López; Cristian Espinoza (Cade Cowell 70’), Jackson Yueill, Judson, Shea Salinas (Valeri Qazaishvili 80’); Chris Wondolowski, Danny Hoesen (Andy Rios 35’).
Subs not used: James Marcinkowski, Guram Kashia, Nick Lima, Tanner Beason, Eric Calvillo.
Rapids: William Yarbrough; Keegan Rosenberry, Lalas Abubakar, Danny Wilson, Sam Vines; Collen Warner; Younes Namli (Braian Galvan 75’), Kellyn Acosta, Cole Bassett (Jeremy Kelly 89’), Andre Shinyashiki (Jonathan Lewis 64’); Diego Rubio (Kei Kamara 64’).
Subs not used: Clint Irwin, Drew Moor, Auston Trusty, Deklan Wynne, Jack Price.