FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Chris Wondolowski joined Dwayne De Rosario and Thierry Henry atop the MLS scoring charts as his pair of goals fired San Jose to a 2-1 victory over New England at Gillette Stadium in a battle between teams already eliminated from playoff contention.
Wondolowski opened the scoring after just eight minutes as he neatly corralled rookie goalkeeper David Bingham's long hoof and tucked it inside the far post. Benny Feilhaber equalized after 55 minutes, but Wondolowski decided the affair with eight minutes to play by rising to nod home his 14th goal of the season to claim all three points for the visiting Earthquakes.
San Jose conjured up the perfect start with Wondolowski’s first. Bingham – featuring in his first MLS game – thumped a clearance from his own penalty area toward the 2010 Golden Boot winner as he scampered into the attacking third. Wondolowski turned defender Ryan Cochrane, brought down the service with a slick first touch and coolly slotted home inside the far post to notch his 13th goal of the campaign.
Quakes midfielder Sam Cronin did well to block Monsef Zerka's attempted shot and subsequently start the counter ten minutes later. The ball once again fell to Wondolowski on the edge of the Revolution penalty area, but his shot whistled just wide of the far post.
New England committed plenty of numbers forward in the stretched first half without posing much of a threat. Diego Fagundez went close with an audacious overhead kick from a long throw-in after 29 minutes, but the pressure yielded little from the run of play as the Earthquakes carried their lead into halftime.
Feilhaber equalized moments after Ramiro Corrales chopped him down to incite a minor fracas and spark some life into the moribund affair ten minutes into the second half.
The resulting free kick from Chris Tierney ultimately permitted Ryan Guy to force Bingham into a fine diving save to his left. Milton Caraglio headed the rebound off the crossbar, but Feilhaber tucked the rebound into the vacated net with a neat leaping finish for his fourth goal of the season.
Feilhaber's tally looked like it would earn the Revs a point, but Wondolowski snatched the winner with eight minutes to play. San Jose constructed its best move of the game as the ball swung from left to right for Simon Dawkins to feed Cronin's overlapping run down the right. Wondolowski climbed to nod home his 14th goal of the season from Cronin's back-post cross, securing the Earthquakes' seventh win on the campaign.
The Revs threw numbers forward in search of a second equalizer, and probably should have had it when Fagundez and Feilhaber worked a clever one-two that ended with Feilhaber crossing to Caraglio in the six-yard box. The big Argentine, who’d been excellent otherwise, somehow contrived to miss at point-blank range in a continuation of his finishing struggles.
With the loss New England fall to 5-15-12 (27 points) and remain dead last in the Eastern Conference. They’re next up on Saturday, Oct. 15 when they host Columbus in both teams’ penultimate game of the 2011 season.
San Jose, meanwhile, improve to 7-11-14 (35 points), and stay in the eighth spot out in the Western Conference. They travel to face Seattle next Saturday night.
SJ -- Chris Wondolowski 13 (David Bingham 1) 8
NE -- Benny Feilhaber 4 (unassisted) 55
SJ -- Chris Wondolowski 14 (Sam Cronin 2, Simon Dawkins 2) 82
San Jose Earthquakes -- David Bingham, Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Bobby Burling, Justin Morrow, Rafael Baca, Ramiro Corrales (Brad Ring 79), Sam Cronin, Simon Dawkins (Ellis McLoughlin 87), Khari Stephenson, Chris Wondolowski.
Substitutes Not Used: Joey Gjertsen, Maxwell Griffin, Chris Leitch, Matt Luzunaris, Jon Busch.
New England Revolution -- Bobby Shuttleworth, Kevin Alston, Darrius Barnes, Ryan Cochrane (Kheli Dube 86), Chris Tierney, Ryan Guy, Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph, Monsef Zerka (Zack Schilawski 74), Milton Caraglio, Diego Fagundez.
Substitutes Not Used: Franco Coria, Otto Loewy, Pat Phelan, Andrew Sousa, Tim Murray.
NE -- Benny Feilhaber (caution; Reckless Foul) 34
SJ -- Sam Cronin (caution; Fails to Respect Distance) 39
SJ -- Ramiro Corrales (caution; Reckless Tackle) 54
NE -- Ryan Cochrane (caution; Dissent) 55
SJ -- Chris Wondolowski (caution; Reckless Foul) 58
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee's Assistants: James Conlee; Eric Proctor
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Clear and 68 degrees