COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) Call them the comeback kids.
The San Jose Earthquakes are time-tested in trailing late in games and turning defeat into victories.
”This is a never-say-die team,” said forward Chris Wondolowski. ”We keep playing as long as there is time left on the clock.”
Wondolowski scored on a penalty kick in stoppage time after an own goal tied the game in the 83rd minute as the San Jose defeated the Colorado Rapids 2-1 Wednesday night.
The Earthquakes are 4-2-3 this year when conceding the first goal. They won in stoppage time for the fourth time this season.
”I wouldn’t call it a bizarre finish,” San Jose coach Frank Yallop said. ”I felt good about the win and about our closing application. We kept going to the end which we do.”
”I told the guys it doesn’t matter if you score in the first minute or the last minute,” Yallop said. ”The game is 90 minutes.”
Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens caught the foot of Alan Gordon, earning Wondolowski the penalty kick. It was the 12th goal of the season and the fifth game-winning goal for Wondolowski.
Colorado defender Drew Moor sat in disbelief at the way the game ended.
”I’ve been around here for a while and this one stings as much as any,” Moor said. ”To have a 1-0 lead with less than 10 minutes to go and lose is really tough to take.”
Steven Lenhart had his shot from inside the penalty area stopped by Pickens before Gordon, situated in front of the goal, saw the ball come directly to him. His shot went in off defender Hunter Freeman for the own goal.
San Jose (9-3-3) peppered Pickens with quality chances all night.
Wondolowski who entered Wednesday’s play as the MLS co-leader in goals with 11, played after missing two games while with the U.S. national team.
Goalkeeper David Bingham made his first start of the season and second career start; Jon Busch was serving a suspension.
Brian Mullan scored on a header in the 18th minute for Colorado (6-8-1) even though the Earthquakes controlled play for the first 17 minutes, when they had three quality chances against Pickens.
Victor Bernardez sent a free kick from 40 yards in the third minute that Pickens batted away. Simon Dawkins got the same result from shorter range in the eighth minute.
Wondolowski got behind Colorado’s defense to get a shot at Pickens in the 18th minute. Pickens needed to make a diving save.
The Rapids hadn’t gotten past San Jose’s defenders until Freeman took control inside San Jose territory. Freeman lofted a cross over the head of two defenders and Mullan easily beat Bingham with a header from just outside the left post.
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