For the second time this season, Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham spoiled an excellent performance with a stoppage time gaffe.
Bingham’s poor punched clearance in the 93rd minute led to an equalizing goal for the host Colorado Rapids, ending the Quakes’ brutal, three game in nine day road trip in bittersweet fashion with a 1-1 draw on a rain-soaked evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The goal came following a Colorado corner, when Bingham’s weak punch lead to an easy header for veteran Rapids defender James Riley, who lofted the ball over the Quakes defense and into the far post. It’s just the third goal for Riley in his 10-year MLS career.
Bingham had a stellar game until that point, with three big saves earlier in the match keeping San Jose in position to grab the victory.
The sequence couldn’t help but remind one of the Earthquakes’ season opener at Dallas, when another lackluster Bingham punch lead to a late go-ahead goal, that time costing San Jose a draw.
The Earthquakes took an early lead in the 19th minute, when Chris Wondolowski knocked in his fifth goal of the season. Sanna Nyassi was credited with the assist after winning a contested header in the box.
A glass half-full view would still see Friday evening’s draw on the road as a positive, especially with San Jose going undefeated during their tough three game stretch, winning at Houston and drawing at Salt Lake. But San Jose very easily could have come away with a full nine points on the trip, with a bizarre Victor Bernardez own goal nixing the prospects of a 1-0 victory at RSL.
On the other hand, the Quakes were fortunate to escape Friday’s match with a point, as Colorado nearly scored twice in the final two minutes following the improbable equalizer.
David Bingham made a diving save in the 94th to parry away a screaming close range shot by Colorado’s Dillion Powers, and Lucas Pittinary was extremely unlucky not to score on the following corner, with his header smacking off the inside of Bingham’s near post.
For the first time on the road trip, San Jose controlled the game with possession in the first half. Tommy Thompson was exceptional with his first touch and passing ability in his first start of the season, on the heels of his selection to the U-20 World Cup Squad midweek.
Dom Kinnear elected to park the bus in the second half, however, allowing Colorado the lion’s share of possession and 12 corner kicks. The strategy ultimately backfired, as the Quakes defense conceded their first goal from an opponent in six matches.
After more than a month on the road, the Earthquakes (4-4-2, 14 pts.) finally return home to Avaya Stadium next Saturday hosting the Columbus Crew (3-3-2, 11 pts.).