SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Cordell Cato scored his first goal of the season and the San Jose Earthquakes survived a 45th-minute red card to winger Shea Salinas for a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas Saturday.
The Quakes (2-3-4) extended their home unbeaten streak to three matches by hanging on for dear life in a second half in which Dallas (5-5-1) were credited with 17 attempts on goal. Jon Busch provided four timely saves and Dallas did the rest, repeatedly shooting wide from close range.
Cato put San Jose up in the 25th minute, and the Quakes doubled their lead in the 73rd thanks to a Dallas own goal. That provided just enough insurance to overcome a stinging free kick goal from Michel in the 76th.
The Quakes found their early lead -- scoring first for just the third time this season -- thanks to an opportunistic return to the kind of longball tactics that made Dallas coach Oscar Pareja so “sad” when he faced San Jose with his Colorado squad last season. After being forced to play the ball back following Dallas’ clearance off a corner kick, Busch saw both target man Alan Gordon and center back Clarence Goodson still on the edge of the attacking third and sent a long pass their way.
Goodson got a head to the ball to flick it goalward, and Cato, bursting forward past Dallas center back Walker Zimmerman, chested it down before slotting home from 14 yards, shooting between the legs of goalkeeper Raul Fernandez.
Michel kept the Quakes from doubling their advantage twice in one 37th-minute sequence following a San Jose corner kick. Goodson sent a back-post header into the heart of the Dallas six-yard box, where Gordon met it with another header. Fernandez got his right hand to it, but the ball would have found the net if not for Michel, stationed at the near post, scooping it off the line with his left foot. That attempted clearance went right to Chris Wondolowski, but his header returned directly to Michel, who finally killed off the danger.
Those saves loomed larger once Salinas drew a straight red for going in with a one-footed studs-up tackle on Dallas right back Zach Loyd in the 45th minute. Pareja rolled the dice and brought in forward David Texeira for Loyd at intermission, hoping to take advantage of a tired 10-man San Jose squad finishing its third match in eight days.
Dallas almost took advantage in the 57th minute, only to be denied in head-shaking fashion. Victor Ulloa’s initial shot from just outside the penalty area eluded a diving Busch before pinging off the woodwork. The rebound appeared to afford Blas Perez a tightly-angled shot at an open net, but Busch scrambled back to push the ball clear with a full-body save. Fabian Castillo’s header from the loose ball topped the crossbar by a foot.
Castillo was denied again four minutes later, when Busch parried aside his attempt from 17 yards.
The shorthanded home side doubled their lead in the second half off a fortuitous own goal. Guarding Wondolowski on a free kick from 40 yards out, Texeira wound up twisting around and knocking the ball just inside the near post, giving the Quakes a 2-0 lead.
San Jose would need every bit of that insurance goal. Goodson was whistled for a foul just outside the top of San Jose’s box, giving Michel a chance to whistle home the free kick into the top left corner with 14 minutes of regulation remaining.
That Dallas were unable to find an equalizer was not for lack of trying. Matt Hedges won possession on the Quakes’ doorstep in the 79th but pulled his shot wide. Castillo, sent through in the 82nd, was similarly off-target with his chip over Busch. Finally, rookie Tesho Akindele, making his first MLS start, volleyed too far across the face of goal in the 89th minute.