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  • October 1, 2011
  • • 10:37 PM
  • • Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara, California
  • Referee: A. Prus
  • • Attendance: 10525

San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 Sporting Kansas City: Late drama ends in draw

San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 Sporting Kansas City: Late drama ends in draw

Thearon W. Henderson

Two late goals after a scoreless 85 minutes left the two sides level at the end of the night.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- After a lackluster 85 minutes, the showdown between the San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City produced two rapid-fire goals, keeping Sporting temporarily on top of the East and souring another largely positive outing from the home team. Chris Wondolowski scored in the 85th minute, only for Teal Bunbury to equalize immediately following the restart to give each side a share of the points.

The Earthquakes, looking to turn in a solid performances despite their long shot playoff odds, controlled possession for a large part of the first half, with a 60 percent to 40 percent edge over their visitors. However, they could not convert their possession into goals, with a first minute chance from Ramiro Corrales proving to be the closest they went.

Sporting was not without its chances, however, and even created some more dangerous threats than San Jose. Omar Bravo thought he had his 10th tally of the season in the 30th minute, chipping Jon Busch after a through ball from Jeferson, but Steven Beitashour got back to clear off the line at the last minute.

Unlike the beginning of the first period, it was Kansas City that came out with its foot on the gas, carrying the momentum generated from the end of the first half. In the 58th minute, a defensive mix-up gifted Bravo a chance, which he squandered, and minutes later, Busch was called into action once more. Teal Bunbury managed to get in behind and turn Bobby Burling, but was denied by a sliding kick save from the 'Quakes veteran goalkeeper.

Much like the first half, the momentum began to shift halfway through the 45 minutes as San Jose looked to test Nielsen and generate more shots on goal. San Jose's efforts finally looked to have paid off in the 85th minute when Beitashour found Chris Wondolowski at the far post with the one time finish. It was Beitashour's sixth assist of the season and Wondolowski's 12th goal, both team highs. However, Sporting wasn't about to lie down.

Immediately after the restart, C.J. Sapong played in Teal Bunbury, who finished powerfully past Busch to deny the Earthquakes a chance at three points. The draw is San Jose's third straight, and it leaves the team only mathematically in the playoff race, while Kansas City stays on top of the Eastern Conference, pending Sunday's results.