The San Jose Earthquakes are in a situation that has been everything but foreign for them in the past five years: being in control of their playoff destiny heading into Sunday’s Decision Day.
It was a game of inches and fingertips, but once the dust settled, the Quakes and the Vancouver Whitecaps left BC Place with a point each following their 1-1 draw.
The point lifts the Quakes to sixth in the West and in the driver’s seat when it matters most.
From the first whistle, the Quakes made it evident on the situation they found themselves in: a loss against the Whitecaps and FC Dallas win, and playoffs faded, again. The Quakes turned to a high-tempo and attack-minded mindset for the first 15 minutes of the bout.
But the attack came to a halt minutes before the 30 minute mark. Vancouver, quickly, began to challenge Andrew Tarbell. In the 26th minute, the 23-year-old made the first of his four game-changing saves following his stupendous one-handed save on Brek Shea.
Only six minutes later, the ‘Caps pinpoint counter-attack paid off. Yordy Reyna continued to be a problem for defenders as his witty moves and deadly finishing skills put Vancouver up.
It was the Quakes Designated Players to the rescue in the 77th minute. A sublime first-time back heel flick from Chris Wondolowski met Vako in transition resulting in the Georgian’s well-placed strike finding the back of the net.
The Quakes are adding quite the drama to Decision Day as they play the Loons for for playoff contention, while the ‘Caps end a successful regular season in rivalry fashion against the Timbers.
MAN OF THE MATCH
In the midst of David Bingham’s departure, Tarbell gave the Black and Blue his quintessential impression of his promising skill.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Vako continued his scoring form when the Quakes needed it most: the Georgian’s right-footed strike was too good for a superlative Miranovic.
MATCH TO FORGET
It was a game of speed, and speed never goes hand in hand with age; Victor Bernanrdez paid the price in the 29th minute after the ‘Caps pace put the Honduran on his backfoot which led to Canadian sides goal.