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  • April 21, 2012
  • • 10:30 PM
  • • Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara, California
  • Referee: E. Bazakos
  • • Attendance: 10202
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San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 Real Salt Lake: 'Quakes leave it late against nine-man RSL

San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 Real Salt Lake: 'Quakes leave it late against nine-man RSL

Thearon W. Henderson

Two ejections and three stoppage-time goals (one in first half added time) gave San Jose first place in the Western Conference.

Try this on for size: San Jose -- best in the West. With a win -- courtesy of goals from Khari Stephenson, Simon Dawkins and Chris Wondolowski -- the Earthquakes beat nine-man Real Salt Lake 3-1 in Buch Shaw Stadium.

Fabian Espindola altered the course of the game after half an hour when he slid towards Sam Cronin with both fee forward. His ejection left RSL facing an hour of a numerical disadvantage.

San Jose waited until the last gasp of the first half to take advantage. Steven Beitashour pumped a cross into the box, where Stephenson eluded the attentions of Nat Borchers to loop a header on frame. Nick Rimando could only grasp at it, the ball trickling off his fingertips and into the net seemingly in slow motion.

The visiting team improbably equalized early in the second half to make a game of it. Kyle Beckerman's slick footwork left two defenders sprawled on the ground behind him as he slipped the ball under Jon Busch.

The resurgence didn't last. Jamison Olave shouldered Steven Lenhart to the ground as the 'Quakes forward bore down on goal, the Colombian picking up a red as the last defender.

Again, San Jose waited until the very last to break through. In stoppage time, Simon Dawkins dove to connect with another accurate Beitashour service and direct the winner past Rimando. Wondolowski made sure there was no response this time with a sharp header at the far post seconds later.

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