SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes made sure FC Dallas’ road renaissance was short-lived.
Dallas came to California riding off their first road victory of the season, but San Jose used first-half goals from Marvin Chavez and Alan Gordon to put an end to that streak with a 2-1 victory Wednesday.
The Quakes survived a 94th-minute penalty-kick miss from defender Jair Benitez, who pushed his attempt just high and over the crossbar with a road point begging to be taken.
Even without a goal from Golden Boot leader Chris Wondolowski – who put the ball in the back of the net on his own PK, only to see it called back – the Quakes (13-4-4) widened their advantage in the Supporters’ Shield race and extended their Buck Shaw Stadium unbeaten streak to 11 matches.
Dallas (4-10-7) fell to 1-8-1 on the road this year, despite the debut of new Designated Player Julian de Guzman in midfield.
That was thanks mostly to clinical finishing from Chavez and Gordon, who turned San Jose’s only pair of shots on goal before intermission into back-breaking scores, and an inability by Dallas’ attack to punch any number of dangerous chances past the Quakes’ defense until Hernan Pertuz’s flying header in the 89th minute.
Chavez exacted revenge on the team that traded him in the past offseason with a wicked 12th-minute strike from the edge of the box. He hammered a skidding cross-field pass from Shea Salinas into the far corner for his first Earthquakes goal
Gordon doubled the advantage in the 45th minute, capping a play that began with a bad pass and turnover by Benitez in his own third. The Quakes took advantage by working the ball to Sam Cronin, who looped a 35-yard pass to the far post, where a barely-marked Gordon looped a header back the other way.
San Jose seemed poised to put the game well out of reach when Brek Shea was called for a handball in the 60th minute for blocking Victor Bernardez’s near-post pass off a corner. Wondolowski stepped up to the spot and ripped a shot past Hartman for what seemed to be his league-leading 18th goal this year.
However, referee Kevin Stott caught Justin Morrow encroaching into the penalty box too early, and Hartman knocked away Wondolowski’s drive on the retake.
FC Dallas had the Quakes on their heels for nearly the whole first half, starting with their first corner barely 10 seconds in, but a combination of critical stops by Jon Busch and other San Jose players and wayward finishing from the visitors allowed San Jose to enter the break with a comfortable advantage.
Nevertheless, the visitors opened the second half in similar fashion, building pressure from the outset.
Shea put a long range chip just inches wide of the goal, while Rafael Baca was called upon to make a second goal line clearance as San Jose struggled to maintain their two-goal advantage.
Pertuz finally broke San Jose’s scoreless streak when he cashed in Jackson’s great cross, but it seemed like so much window dressing until Quakes substitute Simon Dawkins bundled over Loyd with a hip check in second-half stoppage time.
With Shea – 2-for-2 from the spot this season – having been subbed off, Benitez stepped up to the spot. But he pushed his shot just high of the crossbar, allowing San Jose to escape with a full three points.
San Jose are on the road this coming weekend, traveling north to Vancouver, while FC Dallas return home to host Portland on Saturday (8 p.m CT on TXA21).