Bernardez, Lenhart lifts Earthquakes past Timbers

VictorBernardezSt (ISIPhotos.com)

BY MIKE DONOVAN

Coming into Saturday night, the host San Jose Earthquakes had never beaten the Portland Timbers in a MLS match.

That all changed Saturday night as Steven Lenhart and Victor Bernardez delivered a pair of second-half goals to give the Earthquakes a 2-1 victory and extend their home unbeaten streak to nine straight games. Darlington Nagbe got Portland on the board late, but the Timbers were unable to get the equalizer.

Despite missing Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon and the-yet-to-arrive Clarence Goodson, San Jose was able to get the needed three points and now fins themselves just five points back from the final playoff spot. The Earthquakes (7-9-6, 27 points) were led by midfielder Shea Salinas, who had a hand in both of San Jose’s goals.

On the buildup to the first goal, Salinas streaked from the halfway line to the Timbers penalty area and was awarded a penalty kick after being felled by Andrew Jean-Baptiste. Bernardez used a long run-up and blasted the spot-kick into the back of the net for his first goal of the season, giving the Quakes the lead ten minutes after the second half restart.

San Jose’s second goal came just four minutes later when Salinas curled a quick free kick into the box that found an unmarked Lenhart. On the defensive end, the Furman product was a major presence in snuffing out potential Timbers attacks.

While Portland (8-3-10, 34 points) has made a habit of making the correct halftime adjustments this season, it was San Jose who came out of the lockerroom with the edge. In fact, the game marked just the second time in 2013 that the Timbers were outscored in the second half of a match.

The Timbers pulled one back when Frederic Piquionne used a backheel to spring Nagbe, who calmly put the ball around Jon Busch. In addition to the goal, Nagbe was a constant nuisance to San Jose, as evidenced by the five fouls he suffered in the match.

Marvin Chavez was sent off five minutes from the final whistle, but it didn’t matter for the final scoreline. Despite the physicality of the match, Chavez’s pair of yellow cards were the only bookings of the evening.

After a stretch of seven away games in their last ten matches, the Timbers now return to Portland for a three-game homestand in MLS play. First up for Portland is Cascadian rival, Vancouver on Saturday.

The Earthquakes, who haven’t lost at home since the 2013 season opener, will welcome Chivas USA to Buck Shaw Stadium Saturday as they look to notch a third consecutive win for the first time this season.

 

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7 Responses to Bernardez, Lenhart lifts Earthquakes past Timbers

  1. Eric says:

    Dive in the box should have earned Salinas a red card

    • petedx says:

      Eh, I’ve seen worse, there was contact there, I was more upset about Lenhart’s goal that looked like he never made it back from an offside position, but they took it so quickly I don’t think the ref noticed. But really I put the loss on the Timbers, the finishing was awful and they had some sloppy play that resulted in both san jose chances.

  2. ex_sweeper says:

    Salinas PK wasn’t a dive, but Lenhart appeared to be a tad offside on the second goal. Them’s the breaks – glad to see a miscall go the Quakes way for a change. It was great to see Corrales subbed in to calm the team down at the end. I just wish that Watson had subbed Jahn out about 20 minutes earlier – he was tired and that probably contributed to the bad give-away that led to Portland’s goal. You don’t expect your forward to be one of the key defenders on the team, but Jahn was back there blocking crosses and clearing out corner kicks all night. I hope that when Goodson arrives the defense will get better so the forwards don’t have to act as last-ditch defenders.

  3. Eric says:

    Yeah you make some good points. Im not really worried about the Timbers however. They rythm got messed up a bit with so many key players being out for int duty who are now back in the fold but obviously its going to take some time to all get back on the same page. and with Chara being out it made this game more tough. you’re right, finishing was crap because we def had the opportunities. on to the next one.

  4. chris_thebassplayer says:

    Good win for the Quakes. I was very excited to see Stewart at LB, he’s a quality player. Very good in the air with good distribution. He can also play LM when Morrow returns to LB. With Goodson coming off a solid GC, the defense looks to finally have some quality and depth…which is a great foundation to build on. Don’t sleep on the Quakes, there’s still time to go on a run. I’ll bet Wondow sews and extra W into his Quakes jersey and goes on a goal scoring run. He got the monkey off his back for the nats and his confidence should be high returning to the Quakes.

  5. swift says:

    Eric How can you question this:link to mlssoccer.com
    It was a clear PK.