Earthquakes salvage 1-1 tie with the Vancouver Whitecaps

Whitecaps missed an opportunity to clinch top spot for the first time in club history

VANCOUVER — Valeri Qazaishvili scored in the 77th minute to cancel out Yordy Reyna’s first-half goal as the San Jose Earthquakes salvaged a 1-1 tie with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday.

With the point, Vancouver (15-11-7) remains first in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference, but missed an opportunity to clinch top spot for the first time in club history.

The Whitecaps sit two points up on both the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers heading into the final weekend of the regular season.

San Jose (12-14-7), meanwhile, moved into the final playoff spot in the West after earning the hard-fought point.

With the Whitecaps seemingly in control in the second half, Qazaishvili took a sneaky pass from Chris Wondolowski before cooly beating Vancouver goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic for his fifth of the season.

Qazaishvili then nearly gave his team the lead moments later, forcing a great leaping save out of Marinovic.

Reyna opened things in the 29th minute with his sixth goal when the classy striker finished off a great move where Cristian Techera played a ball into the path of a hard-charging Jake Nerwinski.

The Vancouver right back in turn fed a pinpoint pass across the face of goal that Reyna, who missed the first half of the season and spurred the Whitecaps’ climb up the standings, cooly steered his shot home in tight to send the crowd of 22,120 at B.C. Place Stadium into a frenzy.

Reyna had an excellent opportunity to win it in the 86th minute, but Earthquakes goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell stood tall.

Brek Shea then sent a header over the top off a corner a few minutes later before another chance went wide in injury time as the Whitecaps pressed for the three points.

Vancouver closes out the regular season next Sunday in Portland against the Timbers, while the Earthquakes are home to Minnesota United.

Coming off a disappointing 3-0 loss at the New York Red Bulls last Saturday, the Whitecaps had Reyna (Peru), Marinovic (New Zealand) and defender Kendall Waston (Costa Rica) all back from international duty.

Waston actually scored the goal that clinched his country’s place in next summer’s World Cup, while Reyna and Marinovic could face off against each other with their respective national teams in a two-legged playoff next month for a spot at the tournament in Russia.

Vancouver started Saturday’s match somewhat sloppy in possession with a number of needless giveaways, perhaps feeling the nerves of the occasion.

Whitecaps striker Fredy Montero had a header partially blocked by an Earthquakes defender in the 18th minute before Wondolowski forced a fingertip save in the 22nd from Marinovic, who made his first home start in place of David Ousted.

Shea had a great chance for Vancouver four minutes later after the ball fell to him in the San Jose penalty area, but Tarbell made an excellent diving stop with his left hand.

But Tarbell could do nothing moments later when Reyna, who returned to the Peruvian national team after nearly two years on the outside looking in, tapped home a goal that sent Vancouver on its way.

Montero had a chance to put the Whitecaps up by two in the 48th minute on a quick counterattack, but Tarbell was there to make a fine stop before again thwarting the Colombian in the 60th to give his team a chance.

___

Follow @JClipperton_CP on Twitter

Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Rossland council passes plastic bag ban despite legal questions

Appeal court ruling threw bylaw in limbo, but council voted to move forward

Abra Brynne wins Kootenay-Columbia Green Party nomination

Brynne is one of three candidates who will challenge MP Wayne Stetski

Police call Appledale death a homicide

But few other details being released

Fire engulfs car on weekend

No one injured in incident

Community rallies for Montrose family

Tyler Leavitt was recently diagnosed with Stage IV esophageal cancer

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Kootenay-Columbia candidate talks up NDP federal election platform

Wayne Stetski outlines election ‘commitments’ to Canadian voters for upcoming fall campaign

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

New home cost dips in B.C.’s large urban centres

Victoria, Kelowna, Vancouver prices decline from last year

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

Nine kittens and cats rescued after being locked in bins in northern B.C.: SPCA

SPCA says cats were starving, and matted with feces and urine

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

Annual ridership is projected to exceed three million

Most Read