Seattle looked set for a blowout win as a Nicolás Lodeiro penalty kick and Cristian Roldan header put the visitors up by two goals by the 20th minute. And Jordan Morris scored a second-half tap-in, seemingly killing off any hopes of a San Jose comeback.
San Jose appeared to be down for the count, but surged back in the second half. After pulling a goal back just before the halftime whistle, Espinoza's driven cross caught Stefan Frei off guard at the near post to jumpstart the Quakes' comeback. They pulled level just seconds later, with Jackson Yueill scoring from close range after an all-out press forced a turnover off the restart.
Espinoza made it a hat trick in second-half stoppage time, calmly dispatching a penalty kick in the dying minutes of the match to give San Jose their first win of the 2022 season in typically dramatic fashion.
- THE BIG PICTURE: They didn't make it easy on themselves, but San Jose have their first win of the 2022 season after a seven-game stretch. It also represents a positive start to the Alex Covelo era, who was named interim manager after the Quakes parted ways with Matias Almeyda earlier in the week. For Seattle, it's a frustrating way to go into their Concacaf Champions League Final Leg 1 against Liga MX's Pumas midweek. Head coach Brian Schmetzer fumed at their lack of urgency at halftime, and their second-half collapse certainly won't ease his frustration.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Just 50 seconds separated Cristian Espinoza and Jackson Yueill's goals, leaving Seattle absolutely stunned as the Quakes rumbled back from a chasmic deficit.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Sealing his hat trick late in second-half stoppage time, Cristian Espinoza almost single-handedly spurred the Quakes to their first win of 2022.
- SJ: Sunday, May 1 at New York City FC | 1:00 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
- SEA: Wednesday, April 27 at Pumas | 10:30 pm ET (FS1, TUDN) | Concacaf Champions League Final Leg 1