SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Real Salt Lake’s final regular season trip to the Bay Area was an unmitigated disaster.
San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski notched a hat trick and an assist to lead the Earthquakes to a stunning 5-0 rout of Real late Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Salt Lake, which reduced to 10 men in the 57th minute, fell to 0-3 against San Jose this season, being outscored 10-2 in three matches. Wondolowski, who had never previously scored against Real, accounted for five of those 10 goals.
RSL (11-7-3, 36 points) fell four points back of the ’Quakes in the Western Conference race, while San Jose moved to 12-4-4 and is the first team to hit the 40-point mark in 2012.
Wondolowski struck early, punching San Jose ahead 1-0 in the 18th minute with a short-ranged header inside the post, and the one-goal advantage would stand as the halftime score.
Things quickly went from bad-to-worse for RSL in the second half, with Kyle Beckerman being sent off in the 57th minute after shoving a San Jose’s Sam Cronin, which had fouled Real midfielder Javier Morales. Some quick extra curriculars developed after the push, with Beckerman sent off, and San Jose’s Justin Morrow and Real’s Fabian Espindola each getting cautioned.
While the Earthquakes had been in comfortable control of the match for the opening 60 minutes, when play resumed after the skirmish, San Jose took full advantage of their extra man and poured in four goals in the next 17 minutes to blow the contest open.
Alan Gordon and Simon Dawkins each scored for San Jose, with Wondolowski tallying in the 72nd and 80th minutes before heading to the bench a minute later.