The San Jose Earthquakes needed a win to keep playoff hopes alive and well, but could only come out of Colorado with a draw.
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- The San Jose Earthquakes and Colorado Rapids battled to a 1-1 draw in Colorado, with San Jose's playoff chances all but extinguished now. Chris Wondolowski opened the scoring in the first half and could've had another, but Drew Moor cleaned up from a corner kick to give the Rapids a share of the points.
Colorado started out with some quick pressure, looking to attack the Earthquakes with pace, but the visitors kept the Rapids at bay with a well-executed offside trap that caught the Rapids offside five times in the first half.
Sanna Nyassi stung the palms of Jon Busch in the early minutes, but the shot was right at the veteran goalkeeper, who was able to parry it out of danger. In the 18th minute, Matt Pickens was unable to do the same with a long-range shot from Khari Stephenson that skipped right in front of him. The spill allowed Chris Wondolowski to follow up and easily finish.
San Jose was dealt a blow in the 30th minute when one of its two healthy center backs, Nana Attakora pulled up with an injury. Frank Yallop opted to replace Attakora with Brad Ring, moving Ramiro Corrales back to an unfamiliar center back position.
The Earthquakes started to pick up their game as the half reached its final 10 minutes. Wondolowski should've had his and his team's second when a chipped ball from Simon Dawkins found the him behind the defense and onside. However, Pickens came out well to close the angle, turning it behind for a corner.
Both sides traded blows in the second half, with San Jose continuing to have the better looks in the early goings. Stephenson took a coat of paint off the far post with a shot from inside the area, while Dawkins wasted a chance to finish after a nicely worked counterattack between him, Stephenson and Wondolowski.
The Rapids finally got their equalizer on 72 minutes after a series of corners. While Jon Busch made two stunning saves, he could do nothing but give up the rebound on the final save, which Moor was on hand to knock home.
The goal gave new life to the Rapids, who pressed hard for an equalizer. Despite a continued bevy of corners they failed to seriously test Busch, even with some shaky defensive play from the visiting side. Given the deluge of corners, the winner nearly came as Folan found himself with a free header on the far post, only for Busch to make yet another save, this time with his feet to preserve the tie.
The draw put a further dent in the Earthquakes' playoff hopes, though it still leaves Colorado in the second wild card berth with 42 points.