MLS- San Jose Earthquakes

Lindpere scores as Red Bulls defeat Earthquakes, 1-0

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Joel Lindpere notched the only goal as the Red Bulls were victorious in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Red Bulls dominated throughout the match controlling a great deal of the possession despite being away from home. With the victory, the Red Bulls are an impressive 15-0-1 when scoring first in 2010. For Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe, there is still plenty of work to do if the Red Bulls are to advance to the Eastern Conference Final. 

“I think we played really well,” the Red Bulls head coach said. “It’s a great, great win, but it’s only the first half. But I think we can play [as] composed as today, I think we’ll be hard to beat.”

The Red Bulls began the match in first gear, sending loads of pressure on the Earthquakes defense. Throughout the match, it appeared as though the Earthquakes defense was a step behind, a New York attack that dominated possession. San Jose held the stalemate going into the second half,due to the clutch play of goalkeeper Jon Busch, who made a number of key saves in the first half that kept the Red Bulls off the board.

The Earthquakes had particular trouble containing Lindpere, who pestered the Earthquakes defense throughout the match on the left hand side. His best effort of the first half came in the 44th minute when he fired a shot that was cleared off the line by Earthquakes defender Jason Hernandez. Lindpere broke the deadlock in the 55th minute of play. Off a failed clearance, the Estonian winger scooped up the ball and fired a shot past Busch. 

"As a team, we did what we wanted to, we shut them down on the defensive side and we created a ton of chances on the offensive side," said Ream. "We came into this game not looking for a tie, now we're going to go home to repair some things and try to get the victory on Thursday."

Throughout the match, the Earthquakes string together the final touch as MLS Golden Boot winner, Chris Wondolowski was rendered ineffective. Frequently double teamed by centerbacks Tim Ream and Carlos Mendes, Wondolowski struggled to get the service needed to score. Despite the pressure, Wondolowski's nearly picked up a penalty kick in the 65th minute, when he appeared to be tripped by Red Bulls goalkeepeer Bouna Coundoul. However, referee Paul Ward ruled that Wondolowski went down too easily and was booked the striker for simulation. 

The Earthquakes received their golden opportunity to find the equalizer in the 83rd minute. As Wondolowski fired a header off that bounced off cross bar and fell to Eduardo. The burly Brazilian striker fired a shot that bounced of the post assuring the victory for New York. San Jose now needs to win by at least two goals at Red Bull Arena, where the Red Bulls have only conceded nine goals all season. With a win needed to keep his dream season alive, Wondolowski is motivated for the return leg. 

“We just need to keep our game plan,” said Wondolowski. “I feel that if we keep getting crosses in, more than likely we’re going to find the back of the net on one of them. We’ll tie up the series and go from there.”

The match will now head to Red Bull Arena for the return leg on Thursday, November 4th. The Earthquakes earned a 6-5-4 record when playing away from home, while the Red Bulls are 10-3-2 in Harrison. The Red Bulls impressive record includes a 2-0 victory over San Jose in August.

Perhaps the biggest concern for Backe's men is the nagging groin of Lindpere. Already faced with injuries to Thierry Henry, Tony Tchani, and Salou Ibrahim, the hearts of Red Bulls fans skipped a beat, when Lindpere left the field limping when he was substituted in the 91st minute. Adding perhaps, the comment of the night, Backe assuaged any fear that Lindpere might miss the second leg.

"Estonian guys, they are complaining a little bit too much," joked Backe. "He'll be ready for Thursday."

  • Josh

    Lindpere’s been such a great pickup for RBNY. A player with a lot of heart and decent technical ability, he’s perfect for MLS.


  • Joamiq

    Lindpere was fantastic. SJ midfield was non-existent. Starting Sealy was a big, big mistake. NY didn’t exactly set the world on fire with its play, but SJ was taken completely out of the game with NY’s possession game. Agudelo looked like he was 27, not 17.

    Big, big task ahead for SJ. But in 90 minutes, anything can happen…


  • Vik

    disgusting, it’s hard to believe the quakes qualified for the postseason playing like this.


  • Wm.

    That’s a good question…does anyone know?

    I am ashamed to admit that I fell asleep during the second half despite my best efforts to stay awake. This growing old thing is killing me…


  • Jake

    I was impressed by the Red Bulls ability to shut down Wondo. I watched for him when San Jose had the ball on the attack, and Ream and Mendes did a good job of always knowing where he was, and making sure one of them shadowed him. Agudelo also impressed me. i thought he would be quick to pull the trigger in his first start, but he did a great job in hold-up play and taking people on. And of course, Lindpere, but what else can you expect from the Estonian Beast?


  • Lenny

    I. I believe. I believe that. I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win! Come on you Red Bulls!


  • ChiTownFire

    Really exciting game in the second half. I don’t think San Jose will be able to come back from this in New York, so, New York takes this series.


  • Supsam

    Dont get ahead of yourselves NY. Remember we have a winning record on the road. Not saying its gonna be easy, but im just saying dont count the quakes out! Plus, we should play alot better now that Yallop knows the SEALY SUCKS!! Geovanni really had an off game too…so many chances that he wasted


  • BrianK

    Very nice win for Red Bulls. Colorado and Dallas both won at home,…but RBNY took it to San Jose. Nicely done!

    I am concerned with the mounting injuries for RBNY. Henry (knee), Tchani (hammy), Lindpere (groin)…will they be healthy for 2nd leg or even the semi-finals (if RBNY advances)?

    Adudelo looked excellent.


  • diver

    Wondo embellished the contact but Condoul definitely grabbed his ankle and held him back. It should have been a non-card foul on Condoul. It was not a dive.


  • quakes2003BestTeamEver

    Let’s not forget when SJ came back from 4 goals down against LA in the 2003 playoffs to win 5-4 on aggregate. Don’t get ahead of yourselves NY fans.


  • jim in atlanta

    if anyone is getting ahead of themselves it’s you. your team just lost, while it’s not by a huge margin you shouldn’t expect to go into NY and have the same LUCK as you did in 03.


  • J CAmp

    This series is over. Save Henry for the next one.

    Agudelo looks like the real deal…Like RSL, RBNY has good players coming out of their arse. RSL better get it together at home.


  • Rob

    Hmm that phantom second right hand, just in time for Halloween…. There was no contact, total dive.


  • Scott A

    Not getting ahead of myself personally. The Quakes are a good team and if NY stinks up the join then we’ll lose. But I’m confident we’re in a good position to win.


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