The San Jose Earthquakes defeated the Seattle Sounders 4-3 on Saturday night at PayPal Park in San Jose, Calif., behind a hat trick from Cristian Espinoza and another from Jackson Yueill.
Nicolás Lodeiro opened the scoring for the Sounders in the 14th minute on a penalty after Raúl Ruidíaz was fouled in the box. The captain coolly deposited from the spot for his first of the MLS season.
Cristian Roldan then tallied his first of the MLS season as well just six minutes later when he headed home a cross from Lodeiro off a free kick.
Espinoza pulled a goal back for the hosts in the second minute of first-half stoppage time when he volleyed home his own deflected shot from close range.
Jordan Morris gave the Sounders a 3-1 lead in the 57th minute to restore the two-goal cushion. Ruidíaz played a beautiful through ball to Lodeiro on the left, and the Uruguayan sent a pinpoint cross onto the onrushing foot of Morris for the easy tap-in.
The ‘Quakes struck twice just 46 seconds apart in the 64th and 65th minutes to equalize. Espinoza scored from a tough angle for his second of the match to pull San Jose within one. Jackson Yueill then found the equalizer off a turnover and counterattack, scoring from six yards out.
Espinoza completed his hat trick in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time after the ‘Quakes were awarded a penalty following Video Review.
Coming into the match, the Sounders had been unbeaten in 15 of their last 16 matches against the Earthquakes (9-1-6). They will meet again in the Round of 32 of the U.S. Open Cup at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash., on May 11.
The Sounders captain showed his class on Saturday, scoring once and assisting on two other goals. He now has 34 goals and 62 assists in the regular season in his illustrious Sounders career.
All eyes on CCL Final
Seattle now turns its attention to a two-legged Concacaf Champions League Final against Liga MX’s Pumas UNAM. The series will start in Mexico City on April 27 (7:30 p.m. PT; FS1, TUDN, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM) before hosting Pumas at Lumen Field on May 4 (7 p.m. PT; FS1, TUDN, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS).