Former San Jose head coach Frank Yallop brought the Chicago Fire to a sold out Buck Shaw Stadium tonight to take on his former assistant coach Mark Watson's struggling Earthquakes team. A thrill packed game ended 5-1 in San Jose's biggest win of the season - this season or last season, for that matter.
The Quakes started Chris Wondolowski up front alongside Benfica loan Yannick Djalo. Harrison Shipp and Mike Magee both started for Chicago.
The Quakes came out initially displaying the new midfield dominance they found in New York and within 3 minutes Djalo had a fine drive saved by Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson. The Quakes managed five attacking moves inside the Fire box in the first 10 minutes. With 17 minutes gone Wondo stole the ball right in front of the Fire goal and hit a shot right at the keeper. Still the Quakes offensive pressure seemed to moving them closer to that first goal.
By the 25th minute the game had devolved into a scrappy midfield tussle with neither side dominating. On 27 minutes Sam Cronin came close with a shot that looped just wide of the Chicago goal.
On 30 minutes Wondolowski worked his way free on the edge of the area and fired in a ball that curled wide of the top corner. Two minutes later Jordan Stewart picked up a yellow card in what was becoming an increasingly tetchy game. On 34 minutes Djalo broke free and had a clear chance on goal but skied it over the scoreboard.
On 42 minutes Lovell Palmer hit a fine strike that Quakes goalie Jon Busch held at the second attempt. But with one minute to go to half time Shea Salinas scored his first goal of the season, and what a goal it was! Running hard to keep the ball in play down the left wing Salinas cut the ball between two defenders and carved through the Fire defense before striking an unstoppable ball into the upper right hand corner of the net .
HT Quakes 1 Fire 0
The Fire came out and started the second half with some pace and pressured San Jose. The Earthquakes hit back and earned a corner but the ball spent an age bouncing around in the area like a beachball in a bathtub of seals before being cleared.
On 50 minutes Wondo and Atiba Harris worked a nice one-two that Harris planted in the net for his third goal of the season 2-0 Earthquakes.
San Jose were lifted by the second goal and started moving the ball with some authority. In the 59th minute the Fire brought on Grant Ward for Harry Shipp and Matthew Fondy for Quincy Amarikwa.
On 62nd minute Atiba Harris fed a good through ball to Wondolowski who shrugged off two defenders with a jinking run to rifle the ball home for his 7th goal of the season. San Jose 3 Chicago 0
In the 66th minute Gonzalo Segares was yellow-carded for a foul on Wondo. On 69 minutes Chicago's Jeff Larentowicz fizzed a fine shot just wide of Jon Bush's left post. In the 70th minute the Quakes brought on Cordell Cato for Atiba Harris who left the field to rousing applause from the 10,525 crowd.
On 75 minutes the San Jose defense were caught square and Grant Ward fired home a fine shot to make it 3-1.
There were huge crowd and player appeals for a penalty as Wondo was dragged back inside the Fire area. On 79 minutes Cato played a ball to Djalo who looped a cheeky lob up over Fire GK Johnson for his 2nd goal of the season to make it 4-1 to the Quakes.
In the 81st minute Fondy was yellow carded for a foul on Quakes GK Busch. On 84 minutes after a great through ball from Wondolowski Cordell Cato showed wonderful control to jab the ball into the net to make it 5-1 Earthquakes.
In the 87th minute Djalo came off to huge applause for Khari Stephenson. In 90th minute Mike Fucito came on for Salinas who's efforts were loudly appreciated by a quite delirious San Jose crowd.