Dust settles on Quakes-Alavés draw
The San Jose Earthquakes rode a second-half goal from rookie Julian Nash to salvage a 1-1 draw with
Deportivo Alavés of the Spanish First Division Monday
night at Spartan Stadium in an exhibition match that
featured a bench-clearing brawl. Nene scored the lone
goal for Alavés off a penalty kick.
The Earthquakes took the opportunity to play a lot of their younger players, as, among the starters, only
captain Wade Barrett started San Jose's most recent
game, a 2-1 win over Columbus Saturday night. The rest
of the lineup featured five players who have never
started an MLS match.
San Jose leveled the match at 1-1 in the 65th minute
on a tremendous goal by Nash. The Santa Clara
University product rose above a crowd near the
six-yard line and flicked a back header into the lower
right corner off a Chris Wondolowski free kick from
the left side.
Any ideas of the match turning into just another
exhibition were dismissed just seven minutes in, when
a bench-clearing brawl broke out. The melee began when
Earthquakes midfielder Ian Russell nudged Alavés
defender Eduardo Alonso into his goalkeeper Roberto
Bonano. As a result of the collision, which sent
Bonano sprawling into the turf, Alonso suffered a
bloody nose and had to leave the contest.
Following the initial contact, which resulted in a
foul call against Russell, Alaves defender Oscar
Tellez initiated a shoving match and was eventually
shown a red card by referee Colin Arblaster. San Jose
goalkeeper Jon Conway, who came all the way from the
other end of the field to join the fray, was also
ejected, forcing the Earthquakes into an early
substitution. Barrett stepped aside to make room for
backup goalkeeper Robby Fulton, a rookie from
Stanford. Russell was shown a yellow card for his
involvement in the fracas, which took approximately
four minutes to sort out.
When the dust cleared, the match settled into a
defensive struggle, as neither team generated much in
the way of goal-scoring opportunities. Alavés employed
a low-pressure defense, often keeping all of its field
players on its own half of the field. San Jose was
unable to penetrate the Alavés defense, generating
just two shots total in the first half.
Deportivo Alavés broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute on a
penalty-kick goal by forward Nene, who also drew the
foul in the area. The play started on a throw-in along
the left sideline, as Nene got behind Earthquakes
right back Tighe Dombrowski and made his way into the
penalty area. Dombrowski clipped Nene from behind and
the forward converted with a left-footed strike into
the upper right corner to make it 1-0.
Fulton was forced into a difficult save in
second-half stoppage time, as he reacted well to a
deflected shot off the foot of second-half substitute
Wesley Lopes Da Silva.
Danny Kadah is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.