The San Jose Earthquakes entered Wednesday night's game with an 8-3-3 record, good for second place in the Western Conference. If you haven't watched them play, their record does not make sense, given the roster that they have on paper. And if you have watched them, it still doesn't make sense. In keeping with the theme of their season, the Earthquakes weren't very good against the Colorado Rapids on the road on Wednesday night, but Alan Gordon stole three points from the Rapids late in a 2-1 victory.
Colorado was very solid in the early going and was the better team for most of the game's first 80 minutes. The opening 15 minutes of the match were very even as both teams struggled to find their footing, but Brian Mullan changed the game with an 18th-minute header that put the Rapids on top. Hunter Freeman provided the assist, hitting a great cross to the back post following a corner kick, and Mullan was able to get onto the end of it, uncontested.
The Rapids absolutely dominated the remaining portion of the first half, then came out with a more conservative approach to start the second half and looked comfortably in control. San Jose's substitutions changed the game, though, and a pair of bench players would eventually get the better of Colorado.
Shea Salinas set up the equalizer in the 83rd minute with a low cross into the box from the right flank. Simon Dawkins whiffed on his shot attempt, leaving the ball for Steven Lenhart, who forced a save out of Matt Pickens. That save deflected right into the path of substitute striker Gordon, who finished off the chance to make it 1-1. It was his fifth goal of the season, and incredibly, his fourth after the 80th minute.
Gordon would play hero a second time in the 90th minute, winning a penalty with a great move around Pickens. The Colorado keeper dove in an attempt to grab the ball off Gordon's feet as the 'Quakes striker took the ball away from the goal, but missed entirely. He made minimal, if any, contact with Gordon's feet, but when Gordon went down without any theatrics, the referee was convinced that he was hacked down by Pickens.
Chris Wondolowski, tied with Kenny Cooper for the MLS lead in goals, stepped up to the spot and buried the penalty, putting the Earthquakes up 2-1 and stealing three points from a game in which, frankly, San Jose had no business getting any points.