Ventura County Fusion vs. San Jose Earthquakes U-23

The San Jose Earthquakes U-23’s survived a late red card to hold on to a 1-1 draw against the Ventura County Fusion.

Matt LaGrassa’s 12th minute goal looked like it might have been enough to secure victory for the Fusion on their Premier Development League home opener, but Matthew Sheldon’s 79th minute strike earned the Quakes U-23’s a hard fought draw at the Ventura College Sportsplex on Friday, May 9, 2014.

The Fusion controlled the majority of the match, with Quake’s players rarely having time on the ball.  The Quakes struggled to get forward, and were constantly on defense, giving up a total of eight corner kicks to the Fusion. With the Fusion pouring men forward, it was only a matter of time before they would score.

The breakthrough came through midfielder Matt LaGrassa, who latched onto a pass from forward Dan Delgado to slot the ball past Quakes goalkeeper Jesus Guzman into the bottom right corner.

Guzman had a busy first half, with seven Fusion shots assaulting his goal, but solid goalkeeping kept his side in the game, which proved to be vital in the second half.

Fusion influence started to wane in the second half, with the Quakes pressing for an equalizer.  The Fusion still had a massive possession advantage, but could not turn it into goals for the home side.

In the 79th minute, Quakes player Nicholas Cashmere caught the Fusion defense napping with a pinpoint cross for teammate Matthew Sheldon to head past Fusion goalkeeper Trey Mitchell, who otherwise had very little to do, only having to make two saves the entire game.

A rash challenge from Quakes forward Cashmere forced referee Reed Christy to show a straight red card, ejecting the player from the game.

Playing the last few minutes with only 10 men put the Quakes on the back-foot, but showing true grit and determination they held the Fusion at bay, seeing out the game to finish 1-1.

Match Facts:

Friday, May 9th 2014
Ventura College Sportsplex

Ventura County Fusion: 1
San Jose Earthquakes U-23: 1

Goal Scorers:
Ventura County Fusion:
12′ Matt LaGrassa

San Jose Earthquakes U-23:
79′ Matthew Sheldon