San Jose Earthquakes leave it late again with 1-1 draw vs. Toluca in CCL quarterfinal

Wednesday March 12th, 2014

Alan Gordon Alan Gordon's late goal earned San Jose a 1-1 draw against Toluca on Tuesday night. (Ed Szczepanski/USA Today Sports)

The San Jose Earthquakes lived up to their "Never Say Die" motto on Tuesday night, as an Alan Gordon goal in the 95th minute earned the MLS side a 1-1 draw with Liga MX side Toluca in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals' first leg.

However, the Earthquakes could have gotten more out of their home game against a Toluca side that has already proven to be among Mexico's best in 2014. Chris Wondolowski had two golden chances to put San Jose ahead just after halftime, but Toluca goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera made two solid stops to keep things level.

Those saves would prove to be crucial. Just six minutes after the second of Talavera's stops on Wondolowski, Toluca's Raúl Nava took a botched clearance from defender Jason Hernandez right out of the air and fired a curvaceous Golazo past goalkeeper Jon Busch to open the scoring in the 67th minute.

BIRD: MLS takes on Liga MX in CCL quarterfinals

From then on, San Jose was in all-out attack mode, and it seemed that bad luck was the only thing that kept them from scoring. In one extraordinary sequence in the 79th minute, Steven Lenhart hit the crossbar with a header off a corner kick, JJ Koval's follow-up attempt was blocked off the line, and Alan Gordon's subsequent effort came right to Talavera.

Gordon's next chance went a bit better, as the striker rose to direct a corner kick past Talavera and in off the post, sending Buck Shaw into riotous, late-game celebrations that they must be all too used to by now.

Full highlights of the game, via CONCACAF, are embedded below. You'll want to watch them, if only for Nava's sweet strike (which happens at 1:17).

MLS sides continue their run in the CONCACAF Champions league tomorrow, as Sporting KC hosts current Liga MX table-toppers Cruz Azul and the L.A. Galaxy host Club Tijuana.

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