Mon, 06 Dec 2021

Playoff chances on line, Earthquakes take on Whitecaps

Field Level Media
23 Oct 2021, 11:19 GMT+10

The San Jose Earthquakes will be battling to preserve their playoff hopes when they host the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday evening in a key late-season Western Conference match.

The Earthquakes (9-12-9, 36 points) would be eliminated from contention if they lose on Saturday and either Minnesota United or Real Salt Lake win. San Jose is in 10th place in the West, seven points under the playoff line with four matches left in the regular season.

San Jose's most recent outing was a dominating 4-0 home win over expansion Austin FC on Wednesday that halted a three-game losing streak and kept the Earthquakes' scant postseason hopes in play.

San Jose got all of its scoring in the second half, with goals from Javier Eduardo "Chofis" Lopez, Benjamin Kikanovic, Chris Wondolowski and Carlos Fierro tallying for the Earthquakes.

Wondolowski said the win, and the way it was produced, gave the Earthquakes a much-needed boost.

"It was great for the morale in the locker room," Wondolowski said. "It was nice to have one of those tangible wins where everything went well and to have everything kind of click. It's very beneficial for us as we close on these last four games and try to make the best run as we can."

The Whitecaps head to Northern California on the heels of a 3-2, come-from-behind win at Portland on Wednesday night, Vancouver's fourth victory in its past six matches. The Whitecaps scored all three of their goals over a 19-minute span of the second half, erasing a 2-0 deficit.

Deiber Caicedo, Brian White and Cristian Dajome found the net for Vancouver, the final tally on a penalty kick in the 82nd minute.

Vancouver (11-9-10, 43 points) is holding onto the coveted seventh and final place in the West standings and can't afford to give up any points in the run to the end of the season.

"It's fundamental," Whitecaps coach Vanni Sartini said. "At the end of the first half, my speech was basically that we needed to do a couple of tactical adjustments that we did perfectly. I don't know if everyone around the league (has to take us more seriously), but we have to."

--Field Level Media

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