SANDY, Utah -– The San Jose Earthquakes scored two goals. Only one counted toward their score, however, as a late Victor Bernardez own goal gifted Real Salt Lake a point in a strange, stop-and-start match that ended in a 1-1 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The result provided the struggling Western Conference sides a much-needed point apiece as they now each sit on 10 from eight matches.
The controversy began in the 19th minute when San Jose winger Shea Salinas tried a shot from just outside the box. The blast was deflected but slipped through RSL’s defense and found its way to the feet of Wondolowski, who immediately blasted a shot into the net.
He appeared to be offside by a wide margin, but RSL’s Kyle Beckerman also appeared to intentionally play the ball, putting Wondolowski onside. Regardless, neither head referee Sorin Stoica nor the assistant referee called offside, putting San Jose up 1-0.
The bad luck would continue for RSL – who came into the match on a two-game losing streak – when they were forced to make an early substitution after midfielder Javier Morales was subbed out with an apparent head injury in the 41st minute.
Neither team made much headway the remainder of the half in the physical match – marked by 37 combined fouls. That trend continued in the second half with neither team establishing a rhythm as Stoica wore out his whistle.
The player who eventually gave RSL their breakthrough opportunity, however, was wearing a San Jose shirt.
In the 71st minute, RSL sent a searching long ball forward where forward Devon Sandoval was able to head it onward. Alvaro Saborio applied pressure to Bernardez who flipped the ball back toward his net. Unfortunately for San Jose, who were looking to get back in the win column following a loss two weeks ago to the New York Red Bulls and a bye last weekend, goalkeeper David Bingham was charging forward and Bernardez’s touch floated into the back of the net to even the score.
Both teams continued to press for the game winner but neither were able to conjure anything substantial. The Earthquakes accounted for the only two shots on goal all night, as RSL weren’t able to put anything on frame.
RSL return to action again at home Wednesday against the LA Galaxy. San Jose next play again under Friday-night lights at the Colorado Rapids.
San Jose Earthquakes media services