SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In a matchup of sides desperate to get on track this season, the San Jose Earthquakes earned their first win of the season Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium in a 1-0 decision over Chivas USA thanks to a second-half goal by substitute Yannick Djalo.
San Jose (1-2-3) were off to their worst start in franchise history through five games. After winning their season opener, Chivas (1-4-3) USA are now winless in their last seven matches.
It was also the first goal for Djalo, who came on at the start of the second half to replace Atiba Harris. The Portuguese winger ran onto a lofted cross and hit it first time to the far post for the 66th-minute goal. The long corss by Shea Salinas was his fourth assist of the season, tying him for the league lead.
The first half was a bit ragged, with four yellow cards handed out in the opening 30 minutes. Chivas USA enjoyed most of the possession but struggled to create scoring opportunities.
The closest San Jose came to looking dangerous early on was off a set piece, when Salinas curled a pass into the penalty area, forcing Chivas ‘keeper Dan Kennedy to come off his line to knock it away from an onrushing Chris Wondolowski.
In the second period, after Djalo scored for San Jose, Chivas USA, looked for some offensive spark of their own, bringing on Adolfo “Bofo” Bautista for Mauro Rosales, but they were unable to find an equalizer.
The Goats’ struggle was made even more difficult in the 77th minute when Kennedy was shown red for an intentional handball outside of the box as he attempted to stop an Alan Gordona> breakaway.
Ten-men Chivas USA looked for a late spark with Luke Moore for Alvarez. San Jose countered by switching Cordell Cato for Salinas. Neither substitution made a crucial difference as the Earthquakes closed out the game in front of a grateful sold out crowd.
Chivas USA return to action Saturday at StubHub Center to host Houston, while San Jose travel to Vancouver to face the Whitecaps the same day.