The San Jose Earthquakes' new era has begun successfully, but not without a scare.
The Earthquakes held off a late Minnesota United comeback effort to win, 3-2, at Avaya Stadium in their season opener on Saturday night. Kevin Molino attempted to spoil the party with goals in the 81st and 85th minutes, but San Jose held on to give new head coach Mikael Stahre a victory in his debut.
Danny Hoesen helped lead the way for the Earthquakes. He bagged a brace in the Western Conference affair, including the 59th-minute winner. Vako, who assisted on both of Hoesen's goals, had the club's other tally.
- 27' – SJ – Danny Hoesen | WATCH
- 28' – SJ – Vako | WATCH
- 59' – SJ – Danny Hoesen | WATCH
- 81' – MIN – Kevin Molino | WATCH
- 85' – MIN – Kevin Molino | WATCH
- The Big Picture: The Earthquakes will not be happy with the way they finished the match, but all in all this was still a positive first step under their new head coach. San Jose were the better side throughout most of the game, playing some good attacking soccer while creating plenty of chances.
- Moment of the Match: Hoesen may have given the Earthquakes the lead with his sweet finish in the 27th minute, but it was Vako who knocked the wind right out of United by netting San Jose's second goal seconds later. Stunned, Minnesota failed to respond until it was far too late.
- Man of the Match: Vako played a part in each of the Earthquakes' three goals, but it was Hoesen who shone brightest on Saturday. His opening goal from outside the penalty area was splendid, and his second strike showcased his speed, skill, and stood as the winner.