for this game

Real Salt Lake ties Earthquakes 1-1

Jul 4, 2009 - 5:55 AM By JOE BEATTY STATS MLS Correspondent

SANDY, Utah (STATS) - Up a goal and a man, the San Jose Earthquakes entered stoppage time Friday night within sight of getting out of the Western Conference basement.

But after booting in an own-goal, San Jose had to settle for a 1-1 tie with Real Salt Lake, which ran its unbeaten streak to a franchise-record tying five games.

"It's tough," said San Jose goalkeeper Joe Cannon. "You get on the road, late in the game and those things happen. I thought everything was going according to plan and it was just an unfortunate own goal."

Arturo Alvarez scored his fifth goal of the season in the 63rd minute for San Jose (3-8-4), which got just its second road point of the year.

Having been stymied on offense most of the game, the Earthquakes finally started attacking early in the second half. Alvarez found himself open at the top of the box, took a pass from Pablo Campos, and slotted a shot from 15 yards out between diving Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando and the post.

As the game wore on and Real Salt Lake (5-6-5) couldn't beat Cannon it looked like Alvarez's goal would be the difference. That was enhanced even further when Real Salt Lake's Fabian Espindola was tripped up by San Jose's Brandon McDonald from behind while Espindola was streaking down the sideline with the ball in the 77th minute.

After hitting the ground, Espindola gave a hard kick to the back of McDonald's legs, earning a red card.

But in the second minute of stoppage time, Real Salt Lake caught San Jose's defense off balance. Yura Movsisyan broke toward the goal from 15 yards. San Jose's Chris Leitch tried to get in the way, but instead, the ball ticked off him and over goalkeeper Cannon's frantic dive, just getting into the net.

The goal denied San Jose a chance from notching its first road win and ending a 16-match road winless streak dating to a 2-0 victory at Columbus on June 7, 2008. The Earthquakes one point behind seventh-place FC Dallas.

"You have to give Salt Lake credit," said Cannon. "They were a man down and they kept fighting and fighting. The only disappointing part tonight was we couldn't kill off the game a man up. It seemed like even a man down they still had more guys on the field at the end and they were buzzing."

While Real Salt Lake escaped with a point and improved to 2-0-3 in its last five matches, a win would have vaulted them past rival Colorado into fourth place in the Western Conference. Instead, RSL sits one point back of the Rapids, who host Chicago on Saturday.

"It was definitely frustrating," Real Salt Lake midfielder Ned Grabavoy said. " If we don't get three points at this point every game I think that we'll probably be not so happy. With the players we have, we have good players, we should be able to get results"

Besides Espindola's ejection, the referee issued six yellow cards to San Jose and one to Real Salt Lake. A minor fracas developed in the 75th minute with some pushing and shoving, resulting in San Jose's McDonald and Jason Hernandez both being carded.