By Bill Truong
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes relied on a late goal by substitute Chris Wondolowski in the 77th minute to grab a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC. The reigning MLS Cup champions went ahead on a goal in the 59th minute by Toronto debutant Lucas Janson.
The first half was filled with missed chances for San Jose. Jamir Hyka, Magnus Eriksson, and Vako all had good chances to get San Jose into the lead, but their shots were either saved by Alex Bono or blasted over the net. Toronto had no luck generating their offense without star forward Sebastian Giovinco, who was left on the bench, only generating one shot at all compared to San Jose’s 9.
The second half was a much different story. Toronto applied much more pressure and had the ball more. After the double substitution of Giovinco and Gregory van der Wiel, Toronto looked dangerous, with the two substitutions playing slick passes with the goal scorer Janson to produce Toronto’s only shot on goal: an easy tap in for Janson’s first goal with Toronto.
The goal led to a double substitution from San Jose, with Chris Wondolowski and Chris Wehan replacing Danny Hoesen and Hyka. The substitutions would end up drawing them level, as Wondolowski ran onto a long ball by right back Nick Lima and fired a shot that was initially saved by Bono, but spilled right into the path of Wondo who chipped it into the open net for his 141st goal in MLS.
The Earthquakes had many chances to win the game late, but they could not convert their chances at the end. In the end, the result felt like points dropped for both teams. For Toronto, they could not hold onto the lead because of a goalkeeping error, and could have lost if San Jose could have finished off the chances that came from Bono’s mistakes. For San Jose, they could not convert their chances that they got in both halves of the game. San Jose managed 18 shots, but only scored one goal. In the end, this result may not matter, with San Jose out of the playoff hunt and Toronto seeming like they will be out within the next few games.