San Jose leaves it late vs. Chicago
Santa Clara, CA (Sports Network) - Steven Lenhart spurned what would have been a Man-of-the-Match performance from Sean Johnson at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday, scoring deep into second-half stoppage time to see the San Jose Earthquakes claim a point in a dramatic 1-1 with the Chicago Fire.
The Fire 'keeper was superb in blocking a total of 10 shots, and Chicago (9-7-6) looked to be on its way to three points thanks to Chris Rolfe's first- half strike, but Lenhart spoiled the occasion by grabbing a late equalizer to prevent San Jose (13-5-6) from losing a second straight match.
The home side had the better running of the opening period, peppering Johnson's goal with a plethora of shots, but Chicago was able to steal a goal against the run of play to open the scoring in the 37th minute.
Rolfe collected a pass from Patrick Nyarko at the top of the box and curled a nifty shot with the outside of his foot, guiding it past Jon Busch and into the far upper corner for his second goal of the season.
Johnson continued his heroic play in the second half to keep San Jose off the board, producing a stunning save in the 59th minute to deny Alan Gordon's header from finding the back of the net from close range.
Shortly after, Dominic Oduro came within inches of doubling Chicago's lead when he caught Busch off his line but chipped his effort off the post.
San Jose continued to put Johnson's net under a great deal of pressure, but the club's task was made even harder in stoppage time when Gordon was issued a yellow card for a nasty challenge on Dan Gargan.
It ultimately made no difference as the 'Quakes found their equalizer deep into stoppage time.
Shea Salinas played a searching ball into the box. Chris Wondolowski chested the delivery into the path of Lenhart and the feisty San Jose striker hammered his one-time effort past Johnson and just inside the post for his seventh goal of the season.
Chicago returns to action on August 4 as it hosts lowly Toronto FC at Toyota Park. San Jose will enjoy a week off, picking up again on August 11 with a crucial match against Western Conference rival Seattle Sounders FC at Buck Shaw Stadium.