The Earthquakes knew they had their work cut out for them going into Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match against the Seattle Sounders at Kezar Stadium.
San Jose had not reached the semifinal round since 2004, entering the match 1-6 all time in the quarterfinal round.
Unfortunately for the Earthquakes, that trend continued as they fell behind in the first half after a goal in the 18th minute and were unable to mount a comeback, dropping the match to the Sounders 1-0.
“You got to give Seattle credit for the way they defended, especially the last 35 minutes,” Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop said. “We just couldn’t get that touch.”
The contest became increasingly physical as the match wore on, with some players on both sides throwing punches after the game.
“I think there’s always a rivalry between us and Seattle,” Yallop said. “We got to look forward to that.”
Seattle struggled to get into San Jose territory for the opening minutes of the match, but broke through in the 18th minute when Cordell Cato took the ball to the endline and scored past the diving David Bingham, making the score 1-0.
“I spoke to [Bingham] and he said it was a little bit of a deflection,” Yaloop said. “If it takes a little knick off somebody, it doesn’t make it easy for the goalkeeper.”
San Jose had multiple chances to score in the first half, but was unable to capitalize.
The Earthquakes’ best chance came in the 32nd minute when Ike Opara drilled the ball into the back of the net, but had it wiped away after he was called for a handball.
Cato nearly struck again shortly after San Jose’s missed opportunity but had his shot trickle wide right passed the diving Bingham.
San Jose had multiple scoring chances after leading scorer Chris Wondolowski entered the game in the 53rd minute, but came up short.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak with the last loss coming on May 27 against Sporting Kansas City.
The Earthquakes resume Major League Soccer play on Saturday against the Los Angeles Galaxy at Stanford Stadium.