Victor Bernardez Scores In 95th Minute As San Jose Earthquakes Pick Up Dramatic Draw In Opener


Mar 15, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Jose Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez (5) and forward Chris Wondolowski (8) run to the corner to celebrate a stoppage time tying goal against the Real Salt Lake during the second half at Buck Shaw Stadium. The San Jose Earthquakes tied Real Salt Lake 3-3. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Victor Bernardez hammered home the equalizer with just seconds remaining in stoppage time, scoring in the 95th minute to lift the San Jose Earthquakes to an unlikely 3-3 draw with Real Salt Lake in their MLS season opener at Buck Shaw Stadium Saturday night.

It was the second straight game the Quakes (0-0-1) picked up an equalizing goal in stoppage time; Alan Gordon scored in the 94th minute Tuesday night to give San Jose a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Deportivo Toluca FC.

The Quakes had a lot more work to do Saturday.

The draw also turns around a bit of a tough streak in openers against Real Salt Lake; the Quakes have lost their opener three of the last four years to RSL.

San Jose extended its unbeaten streak at Buck Shaw Stadium to 21 matches in all competitions. Chris Wondolowski got the Quakes on the board in the sixth minute, redirecting Bernardez’s flick header with his right thigh at point-blank range off a long free kick by Shea Salinas.

Then RSL (1-0-1) went to work, scoring the next three goals of the match. Kyle Beckerman evened things up with a left-footed strike from 27 yards off a nice pass from Joao Plata in the 11th minute.

In the 32nd minute, Plata beat two San Jose defenders from the left wing, executed a give-and-go with Luis Gil and deked center back Jason Hernandez out of position before putting a 12-yard strike inside the near post to give RSL a 2-1 lead.

In injury time at the end of the first half, Luke Mulholland tore through a scrambling San Jose defense to score off a rebound from eight yards.

In the 75th minute, Bernardez gave the Quakes life, dropping a header off Salinas’ corner kick to the back post.

San Jose had shots fly wide from Wondolowski, Steven Lenhart and Cordell Cato in the final 10 minutes before Bernardez hammered in the equalizer from just outside RSL’s six-yard box.

The Earthquakes took 27 shots, putting 10 on goal, while RSL managed just 12, with eight finding the target.

San Jose now travels to Toluca for the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, with the match at Nemesio Diez Stadium set for 5 p.m. Pacific on Wednesday. The Quakes return to MLS play on Saturday when they visit Sporting KC at Kansas City’s Sporting Park for a 5:30 p.m. Pacific match.