Before Wondowski's late heroics, the three points looked like they would belong to RSL and the headlines to Rubio Rubin. Fresh from his first two MLS goals last week, Rubin opened the scoring Friday with a spectacular bicycle kick. Instead it was Wondolowski, extending his record as MLS' all-time leading scorer to 168 goals who once again proved decisive.
The match got off to an intense start when Damir Kreilach picked up a yellow after less than a minute for a harsh foul on Florian Jungwirth. The game settled down from there and the hosts got into a good rhythm, with Justin Meram getting close to opening the scoring in the 16th minute when his shot hit the woodwork.
RSL got their reward in the 43rd minute, with newcomer continuing his impressive start to life in MLS. The first goal of the MLS weekend was an instant frontrunner for AT&T Goal of the Week, with Rubin scoring a bicycle kick to give his team the lead right before halftime.
The hosts seemed particularly eager to extend their lead at the beginning of the second half, with a shot from Andrew Brady just missing the goal in the 46th minute. The likes of Meram and Kreilach also got close to scoring RSL's second, but either missed the net or saw JT Marcinkowski make the save.
Eventually, the Earthquakes worked their way into the second half. The search for an equalizer truly picked up in the final 15 minutes, with Carlos Fierro's 78th minute shot that went over the goal one of the team's better opportunities. Eventually, those efforts were rewarded when substitute Wondolowski scored a trademark goal off a rebound to level the score in the 83rd minute.
Wondolowski doubled the lead just four minutes later with another finish from close range after receiving a cross from Fierro. The Earthquakes then did enough in defense to sniff out RSL's attempts to find an equalizer, and walked away with their third win of 2021.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Chris Wondolowski remains a gamechanger in MLS, coming on in a game full of missed chances and converting his to change the game in a four minute span. Already the all-time top scorer for regular-season goals, Wondolowski's double on Friday moved him level with Landon Donovan on the most goals in the regular season and playoffs combined with 170. And in the meeting of two early season surprise packages in the Western Conference, it's San Jose who continue their momentum and move onto nine points.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Chris Wondolowski remains one of the Earthquakes' greatest assets, and proved to be the definition of a super sub when he scored the game winner in the 87th minute.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: No one made the most of their time on the pitch the way Wondolowski did, playing 18 minutes and scoring both of his shots to earn his team a third successive victory.