Darwin Ceren - Fredy Montero - VANvSJ
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Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1, San Jose Earthquakes 1 | 2017 MLS Match Recap

The Vancouver Whitecaps FC were 16 minutes from clinching the Western Conference's No. 1 seed, in their last home match of the regular season, but Valeri "Vako" Qazaishvili had other ideas.

Vako's 77th-minute goal gave the San Jose Earthquakes the equalizer it needed to put its Decision Day presented by AT&T destiny in its own hands, 1-1, at BC Place on Sunday night.

Yordy Reyna opened the scoring with his sixth goal of the year, on a sequence with pinpoint passing from multiple Whitecaps attackers; both Jakob Nerwinski and Cristian Techera were credited with assists.

Yet despite several fine second-half scoring opportunities for the Whitecaps, including one in stoppage time that caromed off the heads of Kendall Waston and Brek Shea, they couldn't find the goal to separate them from the playoff-hopeful Quakes.

Goals

  • 29' – VAN – Yordy Reyna Watch
  • 77' – SJ – Valeri Qazaishvili Watch

Three Things

  1. PUTTING THE BRAKES ON THE BREAKS: Vancouver had several dangerous second-half breaks in which they threatened to score, but credit Quakes 'keeper Andrew Tarbell and his defense with containing the Whitecaps' attempt at an insurance goal. In particular, Tarbell put a glove to a 60th-minute Fredy Montero shot that looked his best chance to add to his team-leading 13 goals.
  2. UNEVEN ON THE STAT SHEETS, BUT NOT THE SCOREBOARD: Even though the Whitecaps threatened to take a two-goal lead for much of the second half, the Earthquakes eventually saw their shot advantage and possession advantage pay dividends in the form of Vako's tying goal. The visitors outshot the home side 19-14 and held nearly 60 percent possession, dominating on the ball for large stretches of the second half.
  3. WORLD CUP-BOUND PLAYERS RETURN TO MLS:  Perhaps Waston experienced déjà vu on his late-game header; it was reminsicent of the one he scored on deep in stoppage time in last Saturday's match with Honduras, to ensure his Costa Rica team would return to the World Cup. Waston was one of three notable players in the match who punched tickets to Russia over the international break. On Tuesday, Quakes midfielder and oft-capped Panamanian midfielder Anibal Godoy helped his nation reach its first-ever World Cup, while Reyna saw action in Tuesday's draw with Colombia that earned Peru a playoff date with New Zealand. One Quakes player who had expected to qualify Tuesday—American forward Chris Wondolowski—couldn't add to his 11 goals in 17 career matches against the Whitecaps, but did assist on the Quakes' lone goal. 

Next Up

  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Sunday, October 22 at Portland Timbers (4 pm ET | MLS LIVE)
  • San Jose Earthquakes: Sunday, October 22 vs. Minnesota United FC (4 pm ET | MLS LIVE)

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