San Jose Earthquakes 2, Real Salt Lake 0 | 2020 MLS Match Recap
A brace from Chris Wondolowski gave the San Jose Earthquakes a massive 2-0 win Wednesday night over Real Salt Lake in a match that has profound implications on the Western Conference race for spots in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. San Jose are firmly in the playoff zone at No. 7 in the West, while RSL remain on the outside looking in.
Wondolowski, who’s now at 165 career goals atop the MLS all-time scoring chart, first pushed San Jose ahead with his opener in the 16th minute. After Cristian Espinoza’s strike hit the post, the veteran cleaned up the scraps for a 1-0 lead.
San Jose then doubled their lead in the 74th minute through Wondolowski, who made it 2-0 when finishing a low Shea Salinas cross from the right flank. It was a vintage goal from the 37-year-old, as he ghosted to the back post and found himself free of RSL defenders.
RSL didn’t land any of their nine shots on target, though they saw a deflected corner kick hit the post in the 41st minute after Marcelo Silva challenged the initial service. JT Marcinkowski also got his fingertips to the effort, denying the visitors' best chance of the evening.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Now in 9th place and outside the Western Conference playoff picture, Real Salt Lake have been shut out in back-to-back games. They only have two matches to sneak into the postseason, and chances to accomplish that are fading fast. For San Jose, this was a big step forward after they collapsed down the stretch in 2019. They encountered serious troubles this summer, too, but now they control their playoff destiny.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: When Chris Wondolowski scores, sometimes you’re left wondering how he got so open. That was the case on San Jose’s opener, when he made the clean-up finish look so simple.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Chris Wondolowski now has six goals on the year and broke an 11-game scoreless streak. He bagged his first brace since an Aug. 31, 2019 match against Orlando City SC.