Shea Salinas scored deep into added time to lead San Jose Earthquakes to a 4-3 comeback victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Central Florida on Wednesday evening.
Whitecaps FC were ahead 3-1 at the hour mark behind scores by Ali Adnan and Cristian Dájome plus a Quakes own goal, before San Jose rattled off three straight in the ‘Caps MLS is Back Tournament opener.
21-year old Ranko Veselinović made his MLS debut for the ‘Caps, tallying seven blocks to set a new MLS single-match record.
The ‘Caps went ahead early when Inbeom Hwang spotted Adnan on one of his patented runs along the left flank. Once with the ball, Adnan cut into the middle then unleashed a curler into the far corner for the 1-0 advantage in the seventh minute. Following his goal, Adnan paid tribute to Ahmed Radi & Ali Hadi by holding up a shirt displaying the two Iraqi football legends who succumbed to COVID-19.
Whitecaps FC continued with the spirited start in the 22nd minute, when Dájome initiated a counterattack and fed a sprinting Yordy Reyna on the break. Reyna attempted to reward the hustling Dájome but keeper Daniel Vega got his fingertips on the pass and it ricocheted off Quakes midfielder Judson and into the net for the own goal.
Andrés Ríos gave the Quakes life going into intermission when he capitalized on the corner kick, redirecting a Cristian Espinoza cross with the outside of his right foot for the 2-1 halftime score.
In the second half, the ‘Caps high press paid dividends when David Milinković telegraphed the keeper’s pass and fed Dájome for his first MLS goal to give the ‘Caps a two-goal advantage.
But the Quakes would storm back. Chris Wondolowski started the rally with his 14th career goal versus the ‘Caps, setting a new MLS record for most by a player against a single club in the 72nd minute. Nine minutes later, it was centre back Oswaldo Alanís skying high to head in the equalizer off another corner kick.
Salinas completed the comeback eight minutes into added time on transition, making the final 4-3 for the Quakes.
Up next for Whitecaps FC is a date against rivals Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday, July 19. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m., live on TSN1/4 and TSN Radio 1040.
ADDITIONAL NOTES: Bryan Meredith’s mother Beth passed away on Tuesday morning and he left Orlando that afternoon to be with his family in New Jersey. Prior to the match, Jake Nerwinski walked out holding Meredith’s jersey with Beth Meredith written under the number… The Quakes had 22 corner kicks for the evening, an MLS record… Homegrown player Patrick Metcalfe made his MLS debut off the ‘Caps bench.
VWFC Man of the Match: Ali Adnan
Referee: Marcos de Oliveira
7’ – VAN – Ali Adnan (Inbeom Hwang)
22’ – VAN – Judson (own goal)
45’+2’ – SJ – Andrés Ríos (Cristian Espinoza, Magnus Erikkson)
59’ – VAN – Cristian Dájome (David Milinković)
72’ – SJ – Chris Wondolowski
81’ – SJ – Oswaldo Alanís (Magnus Erikkson)
90’+8’ – SJ – Shea Salinas
Possession: VAN 32.2% – SJ 67.8%
Shots: VAN 7 – SJ 30
Shots on Goal: VAN 2 – SJ 11
Saves: VAN 8 – SJ 0
Fouls: VAN 9 – SJ 11
Offsides: VAN 2 – SJ 1
Corners: VAN 4 – SJ 22
56’ – SJ – Cristian Espinoza
76’ – VAN – Jasser Khmiri
90’+3’ – SJ – Jackson Yueill
90’+10’ – SJ – Carlos Fierro
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
16.Maxime Crépeau; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 20.Jasser Khmiri, 4.Ranko Veselinović, 53.Ali Adnan; 6.Inbeom Hwang, 17.Leonard Owusu (32.Patrick Metcalfe 90’+1’), 31.Russell Teibert ©; 11.Cristian Dájome (14.Theo Bair 81’), 29.Yordy Reyna (27.Ryan Raposo 73’), 7.David Milinković
Substitutes not used
51.Thomas Hasal, 3.Cristián Gutiérrez, 13.Derek Cornelius, 54.Simon Colyn, 55.Michael Baldisimo, 62.Damiano Pecile
San Jose Earthquakes
17.Daniel Vega; 22.Tommy Thompson (21.Carlos Fierro 63’), 37.Guram Kashia, 4.Oswaldo Alanís, 24.Nick Lima (6.Shea Salinas 63’); 93.Judson (8.Chris Wondolowski 63’), 14.Jackson Yueill; 10.Cristian Espinoza (33.Paul Marie 87’), 7.Magnus Erikkson ©, 11.Valeri Qazaishvili (9.Danny Hoesen 63’); 25.Andrés Ríos
Substitutes not used
18.James Marcinkowski, 15.Tanner Beason, 16.Jack Skahan, 23.Florian Jungwirth, 26.Eric Calvillo, 44.Cade Cowell, 96.Luis Felipe Fernandes