A late Alejandro Moreno goal left both Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthquakes feeling unsatisfied, the teams failing to come away with a second victory of the season as they played to a 2-2 draw Saturday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The Earthquakes were looking to build off last week's win at home against Kansas City, and an 11th minute goal from Brian Ching gave them just the start they were looking for. But Real - back home where they recorded a first win in club history in their first match in Utah - took the lead through a pair of goals 11 minutes apart by Jason Kreis.
Yet the Quakes showed their propensity for late dramatics when substitute Moreno scored the equalizer nine minutes from the end to leave the teams sharing the points.
The Earthquakes began with the upper hand, getting a first crack at goal in the fifth moinute when Ronald Cerritos powered a shot off the base of the far post. He got to the rebound, but Real 'keeper D.J. Countess stretched his frame to its full length to make an athletic save.
San Jose then broke open in the 11th minute when Ching got his head to a Brad Davis cross ahead of Real defender Brian Dunseth as the pair once again combined for a San Jose goal.
The visitors continued to dominate play until Real's Clint Mathis drew a foul some 35 yards from goal. On the ensuing free kick Brian Dunseth looked set to net his second goal of the season until he was fouled by San Jose defender Eddie Robinson, and referee Ben Jones - in his first MLS game - gave the penalty kick.
Jason Kreis took the kick and Pat Onstad guessed correctly, getting a hand to it, but the San Jose 'keeper wasn't able to keep the ball out of the net.
RSL used the goal as a catalyst to steal momentum. In the 34th minute Mathis showed why he is so dangerous, making a long run down the center of the park nearly unmolested. At the top of the box he got Onstad off his line before laying the ball off to Kreis on his left, who netted his 94th career goal with an angled shot inside the post.
San Jose came out in the second half looking rejuvenated and again controlled the flow. Some 10 minutes after the break Cerritos took advantage of a nice ball over the top to get behind the RSL defense forcing Countess to again make an athletic save.
The Earthquakes continued to have the best of the possession as Real looked to defend their lead, often leaving Kreis as a lone striker. But it didn't matter until the 81st minute when Brian Mullan sent a cross over the Real defense to second half substitute Moreno, whose header once again provided a late match decider.
There were a few fireworks left, Moreno fouling defender Rusty Pierce before feeling the ire of a fired-up Mathis. A brief shoving match ensued before Jones booked the Real playmaker, but that was the final action of the night as the teams settled for a share of the result.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake)
David Hale is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
San Jose Earthquakes (1-1-3) vs. Real Salt Lake (1-2-2)
April 30, 2005 -- Rice-Eccles Stadium
SJ -- Brian Ching 4 (Brad Davis 5) 11
RSL -- Jason Kreis 2 (penalty kick) 21
RSL -- Jason Kreis 3 (Clint Mathis 2) 34
SJ -- Alejandro Moreno 2 (Brian Mullan 1) 82
San Jose Earthquakes -- Pat Onstad, Craig Waibel, Troy Dayak, Eddie Robinson, Wade Barrett (Ricardo Clark 72), Brian Mullan, Danny O'Rourke, Brad Davis, Brian Ching, Dwayne De Rosario, Ronald Cerritos (Alejandro Moreno 65).
Substitutes Not Used: Ryan Cochrane, Jon Conway, Ian Russell.
TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (3 tied with 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 15 (Brian Mullan 4); FOULS: 13 (Eddie Robinson 4); OFFSIDES: 1 (Brian Ching 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Brad Davis 2); SAVES: 4 (Pat Onstad 4)
Real Salt Lake -- D.J. Countess, Rusty Pierce, Matt Behncke, Brian Dunseth, Nelson Akwari, Chris Brown (Evan Whitfield 80), Brian Kamler, Clint Mathis, Andy Williams (Leighton O'Brien 66), Leslie Fitzpatrick, Jason Kreis.
Substitutes Not Used: Jordan Cila, Luke Kreamalmeyer, Jay Nolly, Marlon Rojas, Dipsy Selolwane, Seth Trembly, Jamie Watson.
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Jason Kreis 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Jason Kreis 3); FOULS: 15 (Jason Kreis 4); OFFSIDES: 3 (Clint Mathis 2); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Andy Williams 3); SAVES: 13 (D.J. Countess 13)
RSL -- Jason Kreis (caution; Professional Foul) 58
RSL -- Rusty Pierce (caution; Pushing, Holding) 73
RSL -- Clint Mathis (caution; Game Disrepute) 89
Referee: Ben Jones
Referee's Assistants: Nathan Clement; George Vergara
4th Official: Alex Prus
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-64-degrees
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial