San Jose Earthquakes 1, Vancouver Whitecaps 0 | MLS Match Recap
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes' first effort under the lights at Avaya Stadium was a winning one, as Sanna Nyassi’s goal in the 75th minute lifted the team to a 1-0 victory on Saturday evening over the MLS-leading Vancouver Whitecaps.
The inaugural night game at the Quakes' new venue was a ragged affair, with both teams playing the end of the match a man down after Pedro Morales and Adam Jahn were each given red cards after tangling in the 86th minute.
The win breaks a two-game slide for San Jose and evens their record at 3-3-0 for the year. Vancouver saw their five-game unbeaten string come to an end, though the Whitecaps remain atop the Western Conference and Supporters' Shield standings with a 4-2-1 record.
Carl Robinson made four changes to the Whitecaps lineup that faced Columbus midweek, with Deybi Flores getting his first start of the season in midfield alongside Kekuta Manneh, and Jordan Harvey and Pa Modou Kah stepping in on the backline.
Both teams struggled to create chances in a disjointed first half; neither goalkeeper recorded a save before intermission. Four yellow cards were handed out in the opening period, three of them given to Vancouver, and the first coming just two minutes into the action.
San Jose thought they had broken through in the ninth minute when Matias Perez Garcia stole a pass in midfield and centered for Jahn, but the goal was disallowed as the Earthquakes forward was a stride offside.
The Earthquakes took the initiative after the break; Salinas had an open shot just a minute into the second half but rolled a 20-yarder to David Ousted for an easy save. Soon after, Chris Wondolowski – who would later see a rare substitution after picking up a knock in the 64th minute – saw his shot from near the penalty spot go wide.
San Jose kept the pressure on, and finally got on the scoreboard in the 75th minute. After Vancouver defenders blocked shots by Cordell Cato and Salinas, the rebound fell to Nyassi 15 yards from goal, and the Earthquakes midfielder slammed it inside the left upright for his first of the season.
Meanwhile, the Earthquakes defense had Vancouver on lockdown all night, surrendering just five shots and none on goal.
San Jose now head east to face the New York Red Bulls on Friday. For Vancouver, the road trip continues with a stop in Salt Lake City on Saturday.