SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The south end of Avaya Stadium already features several San Jose Earthquakes supporter groups, but it might be time to make room for one more:
Enter the Panamaniacs.
The Quakes were powered by their Panamanian internationals Wednesday in a 3-1 victory against the Houston Dynamo. Alberto Quintero scored twice and assisted countryman Anibal Godoy on the other goal as San Jose improved to 5-0-1 at Avaya Stadium this season.
Quintero opened the scoring in the third minute when he somehow redirected Chris Wondolowski’s low cross while intersecting with Houston defender Jalil Anibaba. But with Dynamo midfielder Ricardo Clark delivering a sledgehammer of an equalizer in the 43rd minute, the Quakes needed some further output from an attack that was missing forwards Quincy Amarikwa and Innocent.
The Panamanian duo combined less than five minutes into the second half to put San Jose back out in front. Godoy took possession from Matias Perez Garcia and immediately one-touched a square ball to Quintero, who used another single-touch pass to slice open Houston’s defense. Godoy coolly slotted home to give San Jose the lead for good.
“You can’t play like that all the time, but it was a pretty goal,” San Jose coach Dominic Kinnear said. “It was one thing we said at halftime: ‘Let’s pass and move, play the simple one, because sometimes, it really helps us out.’”
It looked so effortless that it was easy to assume that the goal was the byproduct of 133 combined caps for Panama’s national team.
In point of fact, there was a more immediate cause which had nothing to do with Los Canaleros.
“You could that see he was going to continue his run,” Quintero said in Spanish through a team interpreter. “In addition, he was yelling, ‘Give me the ball! Give me the pass back!’ He made a great goal; it was a great finish.”
Quintero passed the ball home in the 70th minute after a series of errors let the ball fall at the feet of Wondolowski, who fed the 28-year-old to complete just his second career two-assist performance.
To Kinnear, it was a just reward for all of Quintero’s hard work at both ends of the field. To Quintero, who arrived on a year-long loan from Mexican club Lobos BUAP just before the season began, it was more of a statement.
“I want to be here,” Quintero said. “I know I’m here on loan, [but] I want to be here for a long time. I love being here. So I work hard every game.”