MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps

Self-inflicted mistakes cost Earthquakes in draw vs. Whitecaps

Chris Wondolowski


For more than a year now, the San Jose Earthquakes have been finding dramatic and impressive ways to grab points late in matches. On Saturday, they found a new and rather embarrassing way to drop points.

In the 62nd minute, Earthquakes starters Victor Bernardez and Alan Gordon left the field at the same time to change their cleats. Those questionable decisions proved costly when neither was allowed to re-enter the playing field until a stoppage in play.

As they stood waiting for that stoppage, the Whitecaps pounced on the 11-on-9 advantage, with Corey Hertzog scoring his first career goal that eventually helped the Whitecaps earn a 1-1 draw vs. the Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday night.

Hertzog’s goal cancelled out an 18th-minute opener from Chris Wondolowski set up by a Whitecaps turnover near their own penalty area.

Referee Fotis Bazakos’ decision not to allow Bernardez and Gordon back on the field prompted angry protests from the Earthquakes, but after the match Bazakos addressed the controversial decision, citing Law 4 of FIFA Laws of the Game, which clearly includes a clause stating that players are not allowed to re-enter the field of play until the ball is out of play when they leave the field to tend to equipment.

The Whitecaps didn’t wait around for Bernardez and Gordon to return. They went after the Earthquakes and broke through when Hertzog pounced from close range.

The tying goal began a string of events that are best classified as a wild ending to the game.

Steven Lenhart and Cordell Cato entered the game in the 69th minute and the Earthquakes began playing with four forwards along with the starters Gordon and Chris Wondolowski, who had scored the opening goal in the first half.  San Jose started pouring men forward, trying to find the winning goal all over again.

At some point following the Hertzog goal, the referee seemed to lose control over the game, issuing four yellow cards after the 65th minute, but missed several calls including one in which midfielder Sam Cronin was flipped and almost fell onto his head from a sliding tackle by Nigel Reo-Coker but play went on.

In the final minutes of stoppage time, San Jose looked as if they would equalize but Cronin hit the post off the break, then Joe Cannon made a diving save off the rebound volley from Wondolowski.

Cannon’s saved his best for last though.  Dan Gargan tried a header off a corner kick but the Vancouver goalkeeper made a tremendous save off the line to keep the score level.

The Whitecaps had to neutralize four corners in the last minute and a half of stoppage time to hold onto the draw.

Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie will be very happy to salvage a point at Buck Shaw Stadium against the defending Supporters’ Shield winners, while the Earthquakes will feel like they missed opportunities where they should have picked up all three points.

Here are the match highlights:

  • Dustin

    Wow coaches and players yelling at a referee because they haven’t read nor understood the Laws of the Game? Shocking stuff, never seen the like.


    • Swift

      what you don’t see is it’s common to allow players back in play without a stoppage.


      • WiscFan

        Generally it’s due to injury, not voluntarily taking themselves out of the play. Plus as soon as the players started to go over to the sideline they themselves or a coach should have had one stay on. To have two players leave is just a mental lapse on the Earthquakes as a whole. Even if they were allowed to come back on, my instinct is you just don’t leave. I would have waited until a break in play.

        Side note could the players stayed on while changing their shoes? Or is that an infraction?


      • Supsam

        Gordon said that he was changing his boot on the fly until the ref told him to leave the field. I assume that it’s so the 4th official (or the ref) can make sure the new equipment is suitable for play


      • go usa

        I think it is an infraction. I read on MLS soccer that they attempted to stay on the field to switch shoes, but an official told them they had to exit the field of play.


  • chris_thebassplayer

    The boot changing didn’t cause the Quakes to give up the goal. There were plenty of players back to fill the back line. It was a deflected shot that caroomed right to Herzog’s foot. He was flanked by defenders on his right and left. The ball arrive to him so fast, and he quickly got the shot off…they didn’t have time to react. Just an unfortunate bang-bang play. The reason the Quakes tied was they played poorly after scoring the goal…. for about 40 minutes, they gave up the ball way too cheaply. I thought Reo-Coker’s tackle that sent Cronin cartwheeling was all ball.


  • AzTeXan

    Minor league stadium and a minor league understanding of the game. Keep doing you San Jose.

    PS Actually did a nice job outdrawing the Crew this week.


    • master red card

      Haters gonna hate.

      San Jose is getting a new stadium in 2014, and the “minor league understanding of the game” has no basis. If their understand was minor league how did they achieve the Supporters’ Shield last season? I can note 2 games in Houston (in previous years) when the ref allowed a player to come back onto the field without a stoppage after the player had adjusted his equipment.


      • AzTeXan

        Yeah, I know about the stadium. That’s why I have to enjoy the “sell out” crowds of 10,525 while they last.

        Getting scored on because you decided to play with 9 guys in order to change shoes rather than do it one at a time is like something out of BASEketball. Next level stupidity.


      • Jay

        The new stadium is still minor league. SJ ownership lacks ambition


  • WK

    Referee was bad as usual (I’ve been yelling at this guy since last season- normally the AR in front of me) but the Quakes shot themselves in the foot and let the Ref take them out of the game. He definitely lost control and missed some calls, but the team had time to get the winner. Oh well, a repeat of last season was always a tall order, maybe they’ll keep getting points and get healthy to stay in the playoff hunt and get it together by then.


  • Sergio of SF

    That ref pissed me off after that foul on Cronnin. He was standing right there, he almost landed on his head and waived to play on. Quakes will play better now that they have Gordon and Lenny back.


    • Phil

      It goes both ways. That foul on Cronnin was called as well as the foul on Camilo that should have been a penalty.


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