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Cristian Espinoza’s late goal caps hat trick at Quakes beats Sounders

Apr 23, 2022; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Earthquakes forward Cristian Espinoza (10) scores a goal against Seattle Sounders defender Xavier Arreaga (3) during the first half at PayPal Park. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Cristian Espinoza capped a hat trick with a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time as the San Jose Earthquakes rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the visiting Seattle Sounders 4-3 Saturday night.

Jackson Yueill also scored for the Earthquakes (1-4-3, six points), who earned their first victory of the season in interim coach Alex Covelo’s MLS debut.

The Earthquakes, who dismissed coach Matias Almeyda on Monday, also snapped an eight-game winless streak (0-4-4) to the Sounders at home.

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Nicolas Lodeiro had a goal and two assists for the Sounders (2-4-1, seven points). Cristian Roldan and Jordan Morris also tallied.

The winner came after a video review determined Seattle defender Nouhou pushed Francisco Calvo to the ground during a corner kick. Espinoza put the penalty kick into the upper right corner of the net.

Trailing 3-1 midway through the second half, the Earthquakes tied it with two goals in less than a minute.

Espinoza scored his second of the game in the 64th minute on a shot from outside the 18-yard box on the right wing that somehow skipped over Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei’s shoulder at the near post.

Just after the ensuing kickoff, San Jose’s Jamiro Monteiro stole a pass to start a three-on-two breakaway. Monteiro sent a pass to Espinoza on the right wing and he immediately fed the ball back to Monteiro in the penalty box. He centered the ball to Yueill for an easy one-timer from the top of the 6-yard box past a stunned Seattle defense.

Lodeiro gave the Sounders a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick in the 14th minute after a video review determined Raul Ruidiaz was brought down in the 18-yard box by San Jose’s Nathan Cardoso.

The Sounders made it 2-0 in the 20th minute on a free kick as Lodeiro’s cross found Roldan alone at the top of the 6-yard box for a header.

Espinoza pulled the Earthquakes within 2-1 in first-half stoppage time. His original shot from about 10 yards out was blocked by defender Nouhou, but Espinoza volleyed the rebound over Frei from the top of the 6-yard box.

The Sounders restored their two-goal advantage in the 57th minute. Ruidiaz fed Lodeiro on the left wing and his cross was redirected into the net by Morris from a couple of yards out.

–Field Level Media