Chofis scores twice, Quakes erase two-goal deficit to earn road win
AUSTIN, Texas – The San Jose Earthquakes earned a 4-3 road victory over Austin FC on Saturday evening at Q2 Stadium. The victory sees the Quakes earn their first-ever win over the expansion team and extend their unbeaten streak on the road to eight, a new club record. Chofis scored two goals and has now scored five goals in the past two games.
Austin FC took an early lead in the sixth minute. A cross into the box found Moussa Djitte unmarked, but his low header was saved by goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski. The loose ball remained precariously in front of goal and was put away by an onrushing Sebastian Driussi.
San Jose responded with a goal of their own just 11 minutes later when Carlos Fierro’s corner kick was headed into the upper corner by Marcos Lopez.
Austin regained the lead in the 35th minute after Jon Gallagher finished off a low pass across the front of goal. Austin then added a third goal minutes before halftime when Alexander Ring scored on a shot from distance.
The Quakes cut the deficit in half in the 49th minute. Lopez played a pass to Benji Kikanovic who one-touched a through ball into the path of Cristian Espinoza. Espinoza gained control before slotting his shot around goalkeeper Brad Stuver to make the score 3-2.
The Earthquakes then equalized in the 58th minute when Austin was called for a handball in the box and Chofis converted the ensuing penalty kick.
Chofis scored his second goal of the match just five minutes later to give San Jose their first lead. His knuckling shot from distance was saved by Stuver but he corralled the rebound and sent a low shot into the back of the net.
Despite a late surge by Austin, San Jose held on to secure the three points.
The Earthquakes will now return to San Jose to take on Los Angeles Football Club on Saturday, Sept. 25, presented by Valley Health Plan. Kickoff from PayPal Park is set for 7:00 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on Telemundo 48, KNBR 1050 and KZSF 1370.
The Earthquakes now hold a 7-9-9 record (30 pts.) during the 2021 MLS regular season and are currently in 9th place in the Western Conference, just three points below the playoff line.
The Quakes are now 1-0-1 all-time vs. Austin FC.
The Quakes are now unbeaten in eight consecutive road matches, the longest such run in club history (2003).
San Jose’s last two matches have resulted in 14 total goals (for and against), the most in consecutive matches in club history.
Defender Marcos Lopez scored his first goal of the season and third of his MLS career. His goal also marks the first goal against Austin FC in Earthquakes history.
Midfielder Carlos Fierro tallied an assist on Lopez’s goal, marking his third assist of the season and 10th of his MLS career.
Midfielder Chofis scored his team-leading ninth and 10th goals of the season and ninth and 10th goals of his MLS career. His first goal marked his first goal by way of penalty kick. Including his hat-trick on Wednesday, Chofis became the first Quakes player to score 5+ goals in a two-game span since Chris Wondolowski tallied six from May 18, 2019 (4) to May 26, 2019 (2).
Rookie forward Benji Kikanovic tallied an assist on Espinoza’s goal, marking his first assist of the season and of his MLS career. The match also marked his second MLS start.
Defender Tommy Thompson started and played 68 minutes. It marked his first appearance since June 22.
MLS Regular Season
Austin FC 3 – 4 San Jose Earthquakes
Sept. 18, 2021 – Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas
Man of the Match: Chofis
Scoring Summary: ATX – Sebastian Driussi (unassisted) 6; SJ – Marcos Lopez (Carlos Fierro) 17; ATX – Jon Gallagher (Alex Ring, Dani Pereira) 35; ATX – Alex Ring (Sebastian Driussi) 45; SJ – Cristian Espinoza (Benji Kikanovic) 48; SJ – Chofis (penalty) 58; SJ – Chofis (unassisted) 63.
Misconduct Summary: ATX – Dani Pereira (caution) 4; ATX – Alex Ring (caution) 58; ATX – Brad Stuver (caution) 60; SJ – Cristian Espinoza (caution) 61; ATX – Alex Ring (ejection) 65; ATX – Julio Cascante (caution) 69; SJ – Paul Marie (caution) 72; SJ – Eric Remedi (caution) 90+3. SJ – Andy Rios (caution) 90+6.
AUSTIN FC: Brad Stuver; Jhohan Romana, Hector Jimenez, Julio Cascante (MiKinzie Gaines 90+3), Nick Lima; Alex Ring, Dani Pereira (Sebastian Berhalter 46), Sebastian Driussi, Tomas Pochettino (Diego Fagundez 61), Jon Gallagher (Rodney Redes 61), Moussa, Djitte (Cecilio Dominguez 46).
Substitutes not used: Freddy Kleemann, Zan Kolmanic, Jared Stroud, Andrew Tarbell.
SHOTS: 15; SHOTS ON GOAL: 10; FOULS: 17; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 4
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: JT Marcinkowski; Marcos Lopez, Tanner Beason, Nathan (Oswaldo Alanis 86), Tommy Thompson (Paul Marie 68); Eric Remedi, Jackson Yueill; Carlos Fierro (Cade Cowell 46), Chofis (Andy Rios 85), Cristian Espinoza (Jack Skahan 76); Benji Kikanovic.
Substitutes not used: Luciano Abecasis, Jacob Akanyirige, Daniel Vega, Chris Wondolowski.
SHOTS: 15; SHOTS ON GOAL: 8; FOULS: 4; CORNER KICKS: 10; SAVES: 8
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH MATIAS ALMEYDA
On Chofis’ form in recent matches:
“I am very happy for him. There was great sacrifice in getting him to San Jose and reaching the level he is currently at after going a year and a half without playing. He changed the way he trains and lives football, including his professionalism and calmness. He knows that I try to get to know him and advise him. I have committed mistakes in my life, and I don’t want him to commit the same mistakes. I want to see him stay the way he is now. This causes me to be very happy. He is a young, talented player, and for a moment, he was torn by his critics. He can make mistakes and he will learn from them. He will learn by my side and he will keep growing. He has my confidence in him to make his own decisions. It makes me very happy seeing him play this way. I know his family and I am happy for them too. When I see him progressing in the sport, it makes me very pleased because he is progressing in life, and no one talks about that.”
On the team’s offensive approach in recent matches:
“Honestly, I am surprised in a good way when we score goals in our favor, but there have been too many goals against us. It’s something in which we have improved, but we went back to making collective and individual mistakes. As I always say, it’s better to correct over a win than over a loss.”
On San Jose’s recent form:
“Our project at San Jose is different from projects at other teams. We play younger players. We are calling up players from the academy. We have yielded positive results, and some results that are just okay. Our process is slower. We want the players to form an identity with San Jose, of what we intend. I think we are doing well for the most part, but there are certainly things to improve.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES GOALKEEPER JT MARCINKOWSKI
On the team’s strategy:
“I think the strategy didn’t really change much. We just didn’t play a good first half. We came in at halftime and knew we could play so much better. It’s the same belief and same unity that we’ve always had. The guys were frustrated at halftime and we talked about it and had to go back to playing and being like ourselves. I didn’t think we were all in the first half. I thought we were pretty passive and let the game come to us instead of bringing ourselves into the game. We did that in the second half. The last 15 to 20 minutes weren’t great either and that is something we need to work on.”
On the team’s resilience to overcome a two-goal deficit:
“Resiliency is a great word. I think it’s something we always talk about in our locker room. The belief and fight and just the will to win. I think we’ve been in so many close games this year and I think we’ve been a little bit hesitant or have been missing the final pass or final goal, or final save from me. I think we showed tonight that we can do it and have nine games left to show it and show the rest of the league that we’re a team to really watch out for.”