SAN JOSE - The San Jose Earthquakes defeated Real Salt Lake 2-1Saturday night at Avaya Stadium, earning the home side three vital points. After Simon Dawkins opened the scoring for the Earthquakes, Salt Lake equalized before the end of the first half. Fatai Alashe secured the victory by scoring in the second to make the final score 2-1.
Chris Wondolowski had the game's first chance on goal in the 17th minute. Midfielder Anibal Godoy's long-range shot was blocked and corralled by Wondolowski to put him behind the Salt Lake defense. His subsequent left-footed shot was destined for the far post, but keeper Nick Rimando made a diving save to deny the chance.
The Earthquakes capitalized in the 35th minute with a spectacular goal from Dawkins. Building from the midfield, Dawkins played a back-heeled pass to Wondolowski, who returned the ball in the same fashion. The give-and-go sequence set Dawkins up at the top of the 18-yard box, and the forward then fired the ball into the right corner of the net.
Salt Lake equalized five minutes later. After a free kick, Justen Glad shot at the Quakes' goal. The ball hit the cross bar and bounced off of David Bingham's back and across the goal line. The first half ended with the score even at one goal apiece.
In the 58th minute, the visiting team had a chance when Juan Manuel Martinez crossed the ball to Joao Plata who headed it at the goal. Bingham saved the shot and Plata had a second attempt, which Bingham saved again. The Quakes quickly countered as Shea Salinas dribbled down the left side of the field and crossed the ball into Salt Lake's area, but it was cleared by the defense.
The Earthquakes made the score 2-1 in the 72nd minute when Alashe headed in Salinas' free kick to mark his third goal of the season. His looping header was just far enough away from Rimando, whose fingertip save attempt was not enough to keep it out.
Alashe's goal sealed the deal for the Quakes, who now have next week off from MLS play as several Quakes players leave to represent their international teams.
Midfielder Cordell Cato (Trinidad and Tobago) and defender Shaun Francis (Jamaica) will join their respective teams for a pair of third round Caribbean Cup qualifying matches, while defender Kip Colvey will connect with New Zealand for two friendlies against Mexico and the United States. More international call-ups may be announced later as rosters are announced.
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