SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Second-half goals from Ellis McLoughlin and Bobby Convey were enough for the San Jose Earthquakes to edge the New England Revolution 2-1 on Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium for the club's second straight home win of the season .
McLoughlin scored his first MLS goal on a diving header to give San Jose a 1-0 lead in the 71st minute and Convey added to the lead with a stunning free kick in the 83rd, while New England's Chris Tierney cut the lead in half with a set-piece conversion of his own in the 86th.
San Jose repeated the same lineup from their 3-0 rout of Columbus last Saturday, with the only exception being Ike Opara, who slotted in at center back for the suspended Brandon McDonald. On the other side of the pitch, the Revs sent out the same starting XI that beat Vancouver 1-0 last weekend, the first time the club has used the same starting lineup for consecutive matches.
New England came charging out of the gate, but San Jose quickly regained control and, by the first quarter of an hour, put two chances on goal, most notably a free kick in the 12th minute from long-distance specialist Khari Stephenson, who cracked a shot from 23 yards out that sailed onto the crossbar and out of play.
The home side continued to enjoy the run of play, but an error from Opara nearly swung momentum the opposite way when the defender left a ball right in the path of Tierney. The Revolution midfielder streaked into the box and was apparently brought down by Quakes right back Chris Leitch, but no penalty call was made on the play.
For the second half, San Jose flipped the script on New England and threatened in the early going. Joey Gjertsen controlled the ball on the right flank and drove a cross into the box that Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis got a hand on but dangerously left it sitting in front of goal. Fortunately for the Revs, the foot of defender Ryan Cochrane got to it first.
The action waned until New England got their second shot on goal in the 56th minute. Benny Feilhaber orchestrated the play, laying off a quick pass to Shalrie Joseph, who sent a through pass to forward Rajko Lekic inside the San Jose box. The Danish forward, however, struck a weak shot that was calmly handled San Jose 'keeper Jon Busch.
Much like the weather, which was pleasant at kick off and steadily grew chilly, the game also started to cool down.
In a move to inject a spark in San Jose’s midfield, head coach Frank Yallop inserted Anthony Ampaipitakwong on the right side and McLoughlin on the left. It would be the latter move that paid dividends.
In the 71st minute — just four minutes after coming on for Ryan Johnson — McLoughlin appeared unmarked inside the box and met a Chris Wondolowski cross with a diving header that beat Reis inside the far post to give San Jose the lead.
After Wondolowski nearly put San Jose up by two when he sent a left-footed blast just wide in the 79th minute, San Jose seemingly put the game out of reach in the 83rd. Convey curled in a free kick over an outstretched Reis and just inside the far upper 90 to give the Quakes a two-goal cushion.
Convey's tally proved vital just three minutes later, when New England’s Tierney curled a free kick of his own past Busch.
New England continued to push forward for the equalizer in the final minutes, but San Jose held on for the win.
The Quakes get set for two showdowns against the Chicago Fire next week. They will host a US Open Cup play-in match against Chicago on May 24 before facing the Fire in league play at Toyota Park four days later. The Revolution host the LA Galaxy on May 28 at Gillette Stadium.
SJ -- Ellis McLoughlin 1 (Chris Wondolowski 2) 71
SJ -- Bobby Convey 1 (unassisted) 83
NE -- Chris Tierney 1 (unassisted) 86
SJ -- Bobby Convey (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 53
SJ -- Steven Lenhart (caution; Reckless Foul) 57
New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane (Zack Schilawski 83), A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes, Zak Boggs (Sainey Nyassi 66), Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney, Rajko Lekic.
Substitutes Not Used: Franco Coria, Kheli Dube, Kenny Mansally, Pat Phelan, Bobby Shuttleworth.
San Jose Earthquakes -- Jon Busch, Chris Leitch, Jason Hernandez, Ike Opara, Bobby Convey, Joey Gjertsen (Anthony Ampaipitakwong 64), Brad Ring, Khari Stephenson, Ryan Johnson (Ellis McLoughlin 67), Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski.
Substitutes Not Used: Steven Beitashour, Bobby Burling, Sam Cronin, Matt Luzunaris, Andrew Weber.
Referee: Yader Reyes
Referee's Assistants: Peter Balciunas, Adam Garner
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Clear and 71 degrees