Tuesday, September 29, 2020

MLS is Back Tournament: Earthquakes extinguish Fire to secure top spot, Sounders also advance

SoccerNews in MLS 20 Jul 2020

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San Jose Earthquakes progressed to the last 16 of the MLS is Back Tournament as Group B winners, while Seattle Sounders joined them in the knockout stage.

The Earthquakes clinched top spot in the group thanks to Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Chicago Fire in Orlando, Florida.

Chris Wondolowski added to his all-time leading MLS tally at Walt Disney World Resort, where Cristian Espinoza opened the scoring in the 56th minute.

After a goalless opening half, Espinoza was played into space by Earthquakes team-mate Jackson Yueill before firing past Fire goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm.

Wondolowski then doubled the lead within seconds of his introduction – heading home Carlos Fierro’s cross for the 37-year-old’s 161st league goal.

The Fire, though, remain in the race to qualify for the knockout round.

Chicago could finish second behind San Jose if they beat Vancouver Whitecaps in their Group B finale.

The Sounders currently sit second on four points from their three matches – a point above the Fire with a plus-two goal difference and at least enough for one of the four best third-placed teams – after defeating the Whitecaps 3-0.

Nicolas Lodeiro, Jordan Morris and Raul Ruidiaz inspired the Sounders against the Whitecaps, who could still advance as one of the best third-placed teams with a big win against Chicago.

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