Quakes squander two-goal lead in Portland

It’s been that kind of season for the San Jose Earthquakes.

After leading the Portland Timbers 2-0 in a crucial away fixture on Sunday, San Jose squandered two leads, drawing their hosts 3-3 despite a two-goal effort by Chris Wondolowski.

Both Portland and San Jose are fighting for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference that the Timbers now occupy.

San Jose regained the lead in the 85th — just nine minutes after conceding an equalizer to Liam Ridgewell — on a flick header from Wondolowski via an excellent ball into the box by Shea Salinas for his team-leading seventh assist of the season.

The San Jose lead would last a grand total of one minute, when Kalif Alhassan broke San Jose hearts for a second time, scoring after the Quakes again failed to clear the ball out of their own area.

The Timbers bombarded the Quakes defense all afternoon, putting an extraordinary 23 attempts on goal, 14 of which were on target.

Keeper Jon Busch kept San Jose in the contest, with 10 saves including an impressive reaction save on a point-blank Ridgewell header in the ninth minute.

Conversely, San Jose attempted 12 shots, just three more than Portland midfielder Diego Valeri.

Ridgewell would get his revenge in the 74th minute knocking in an equalizer after sneaking behind Shaun Francis for a tap in at the far post.

Chris Wondolowski opened scoring in the 21st on a wacky sequence that included two shots by Shea Salinas, with his final effort ricocheting off the post to Wondo, who slotted it home for his 12th goal of the season.

Cato doubled the tally just minutes after the halftime whistle, when the Portland back line fell asleep following a deflection, giving the winger enough time to put a low far post finish underneath the diving Donovan Ricketts.

The Quakes trail Portland by eight points with nine games remaining. San Jose plays six of their remaining nine on the road and boast a less than impressive 6-10-9 record on the road in 2014.