SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Despite long stretches of possession, the Colorado Rapids could not overcome a first half strike from San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski and dropped a 1-0 decision in California to the Earthquakes.
Less then a minute after Conor Casey’s shot inside the left side of the Quakes area went wide left, Wondolowski powered a left-footed shot past Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens, driving the ball from just inside the penalty box off the crossbar and into the net in the game’s 33rd minute.
Ramiro Corrales’ lead pass was flicked on by Ryan Johnson and gave Wondolowski just enough room to get space on Drew Moor and strike the ball soundly on the bounce.
It was Wondolowski's third goal of the season - his third in as many matches.
The goal capped a first half in which the Rapids (3-2-1) held the advantage in time of possession. However, the Earthquakes did an impressive job of keeping their shape and limiting space in the final third, and did not allow Colorado many quality chances on frame.
Midfielder Wells Thompson had the Rapids’ best chance the with a minute to go in the first half, striking a powerful shot from 22 yards that was saved by a diving Joe Cannon.
Even as Colorado threw players forward in the second half, they couldn’t often crack San Jose’s back four. Early on, Cannon denied Kosuke Kimura on a near post shot, and then cleaned up long shots from Thompson and Danny Earls.
Claudio Lopez made his Rapids’ MLS debut when he entered for Jeff Larentowicz in the 77th minute but also had difficulty finding space to create opportunities.
Colorado returns home on Wednesday, May 5 to face the Western Conference leading Los Angeles Galaxy at Dick’s Sporting Good Park at 7:30 pm MT.
SJ -- Chris Wondolowski 3 (Ryan Johnson 2, Ramiro Corrales 1) 33
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Drew Moor, Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Danny Earls (Julien Baudet 61), Mehdi Ballouchy, Jeff Larentowicz (Claudio Lopez 77), Pablo Mastroeni, Wells Thompson, Conor Casey, Omar Cummings (Quincy Amarikwa 70).
Subs not used: Ian Joyce, Scott Palguta, Colin Clark, Ross LaBauex
San Jose Earthquakes -- Joe Cannon, Chris Leitch, Ramiro Corrales (Justin Morrow 84), Jason Hernandez, Bobby Burling, Joey Gjertsen, Andre Luiz (Brad Ring 59), Brandon McDonald, Bobby Convey, Ryan Johnson (Eduardo 59), Chris Wondolowski.
SJ -- Chris Leitch (caution; Reckless Foul) 87
SJ -- Bobby Convey (caution; Dissent) 93+
COL -- Wells Thompson (caution; Reckless Foul) 94+
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: Frank Anderson; Jeff Muschik
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger