LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Magnus Eriksson scored on a pair of second-half penalty kicks, Chris Wondolowski added another late goal and the San Jose Earthquakes continued their impressive MLS is Back tournament run with a 5-2 win over Real Salt Lake on Monday night.
The Earthquakes advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament and will face either Columbus or Minnesota United on Saturday in the final eight.
“The team is growing game after game, showing a very positive attitude, their unity, their sacrifice, but more than anything is how they play,” San Jose coach Matias Almeyda said through a translator. “The best thing for a coach is being able to get the max level out of each individual player because I know that will allow us to have growth.”
Eriksson scored on a penalty drawn by Tommy Thompson in the 49th minute to give the Earthquakes a 2-1 lead. A dozen minutes later, Vako Qazaishvili found Andres Rios on a diagonal run behind the Real Salt Lake defense. Rios passed back in front of goal where Vako had continued his run and easily beat RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
Real Salt Lake pulled within 3-2 in the 75th minute on Damir Kreilach’s left-footed shot. Kreilach was twice denied earlier in the second half by great saves from San Jose’s Daniel Vega.
But that was as close as RSL would get. RSL finished with 10 men after Marcelo Silva was given a red card in the 84th minute for a rough tackle San Jose’s Jackson Yueill, and two minutes later Wondolowski scored on a rebound. It was the third straight game with a goal for the league’s all-time leader in goals scored, although scores from the knockout stages of the tournament are not part of season or career statistics.
Erickson added another penalty in stoppage time after video review ruled Kyle Beckerman should have been called for a handball in the penalty area. Beckerman was shown a red card moments later by referee Drew Fischer at the final whistle.
“I had a great feeling before both the penalty kicks so there was there was no doubt from my side,” Erickson said.
San Jose was the first team to arrive in Florida in late June and the win assured it will spend part of three months in the MLS bubble.
Cristian Espinoza gave San Jose an early lead with his goal in the 21st minute on a shot MacMath should have saved. RSL answered immediately with Douglas Martinez scoring barely a minute later when his chipped shot beat Vega
“We take a lot of positives. It doesn’t feel like it when you take five goals, it never feels good,” RSL coach Freddy Juarez said. “But the guys fought their heart out. The only thing we can say is we were in the game and we fought hard. That’s all you can ask from the guys.”