The San Jose Earthquakes secured their third positive result in their last four matches, beating the Colorado Rapids 1-0 at PayPal Park on Saturday night.

Despite the visitors having both a shots-on-goal and shots advantage in the first half, the hosts appeared to be the most threatening side in a scoreless first half. That included a sequence in the 30th minute in which Cade Cowell weaved around Rapids goalkeeper William Yarbrough but couldn't find the angle to finish. Cowell also struck the post in the 44th minute.

The Quakes eventually got on the board in the 64th minute, with Nathan getting a fortuitous circulation from Cristian Espinoza on a corner-kick play and finishing well. The Rapids got forward with some chances, trying to feed new target center forward Gyasi Zardes, but the Quakes were able to preserve the clean sheet without adding an insurance tally.

Goals

  • 64' – SJ – Nathan | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: For the Quakes, this is two league wins in three games in the post-Matias Almeyda era, and this one was a hard-fought battle over last season’s No. 1 conference seed. The Rapids, meanwhile, have only managed one win in their past seven, which should concern head coach Robin Fraser. Both teams leave this contest heading to tough away US Open Cup matches against MLS opponents, though if there’s a time for the Quakes to catch the Sounders, perhaps it’s while they’re still aglow from their Concacaf Champions League win. (Though, given who started in tonight’s Sounders match vs. FC Dallas, the Quakes might be facing a Sounders team starting deservedly rested stars.)
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: There were so many near-goals in this contest, so go ahead and savor the one goal that did land.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Nathan had a fantastic night highlighted by the goal, but also by his defensive work – one second-half sequence saw him decisively win a duel against Zardes that was tone-setting for the whole match.

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