SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Lee Nguyen used the Goonies’ script against them to end the San Jose Earthquakes’ dominance at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The Revolution attacker scored in the 93rd minute as New England pulled out their first win of the season, beating the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1, on Saturday.
Nguyen raced onto a long pass down the left wing from Scott Caldwell, then cut inside before deking San Jose defender Clarence Goodson and beating goalkeeper Jon Busch from 14 yards to cement the victory for New England (1-2-1).
San Jose fans protested the quick restart on a New England free kick which preceded Caldwell’s pass, but referee David Gantar let the play stand. And that brought an end to the Quakes’ unbeaten string of 21 straight matches in all competitions at Buck Shaw Stadium.
New England took a first-half lead and ended a 305-minute scoring drought to start the season when San Jose defender Víctor Bernárdez knocked the ball into the Quakes’ net while trying to make a last-ditch clearance.
Chris Wondolowski delivered a second-half equalizer for the Earthquakes (0-2-1), who hadn’t lost at home since March 3, 2013.
The MLS debut of Yannick Djaló, San Jose’s newest signing, as a second-half substitute couldn’t swing the outcome.
The Bernárdez goal ended a bizarre sequence that began with New England midfielder Diego Fagundez playing a pass over the top towards forward Saër Sène. Busch charged off his line, but left back Jordan Stewart reached the ball first and his attempted clearance pushed it out of Busch’s reach.
Bernárdez attempted a right-footed save inside the six-yard box, but he inadvertently kicked his left foot instead and whiffed on the ball.
The Quakes held roughly 80 percent of possession for the first 10 minutes of the first half and continued to build pressure in the second half. Wondolowski finally made that work pay off in the 69th minute when he collected a deflected cross from Cordell Cato and cut a tightly angled shot across the face of goal from four yards, tucking it neatly inside the far post.
Goodson delivered a critical block on Nguyen’s open shot in the 80th minute, and when Wondolowski nearly found his brace in the 91st minute with a header just wide from a long free kick by Shea Salinas, it felt like another injury-time goal was in the offing.
It just ended up being the visitors instead of the Quakes.
With their first win of the season under their belts, New England next head to D.C. United on April 5. Still winless San Jose have a bye week before hosting Columbus on April 13.