Earthquakes keep home wins coming, edge Whitecaps

ByReuters ESPN logo
Thursday, October 12, 2023

Jeremy Ebobisse scored his second goal of the season before Carlos Akapo finished off his first as the San Jose Earthquakes rallied for a 2-1 victory over the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night.

Ebobisse also picked up his first assist on Akapo's winner, which helped San Jose extend its unbeaten run at PayPal Park to five matches (four wins, one draw) dating back to last season. The Earthquakes (1-1-0, 3 points) have defeated the Whitecaps (0-2-0, 0 points) twice during those five matches.

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The victory is also San Jose's first under manager Luchi Gonzalez, who was appointed prior to the job prior to the end of last season but let interim boss Alex Covelo finish the 2022 season in charge.

Alessandro Schopf gave the Whitecaps a first-half lead, their second in two games to open the season. But for the second consecutive game, when the opponent tied the game, it quickly took the lead, too. This time it took nine minutes. In the 2-1 home defeat to Real Salt Lake, it took only three.

Julian Gressel added his second assist on Schopf's goal.

Despite surrendering an early lead, the Quakes were the better side for the majority of the night and had a few quality chances to level before the break.

Ebobisse missed one of the best when he sent his 39th-minute header wide of the right post.

But midway through the second half, he evened affairs on arguably a more difficult opportunity, outmuscling his defender to head Jamiro Monteiro's diagonal ball back across goal and beyond Vancouver goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka in the 69th minute.

Akapo then put the Quakes ahead nine minutes later to finish a beautifully worked left-to-right sequence.

Ebobisse and Cristian Espinoza combined on passes through the box to find the substitute open on the right side of the penalty area, and from about nine yards Akapo hammered a high shot that beat Takaoka to the top near corner.

San Jose's Daniel preserved that lead with one critical late safe, lunging at his near post to deny Russell Teibert's effort from close range.

Not long after, Takaoka saved another goalbound header from substitute Benji Kikanovic. But San Jose held on without the insurance.