Special to CSNNE.com
SANTA CLARA, Calif. Ellis McLoughlin and Bobby Convey scored 12 minutes apart late in the second half to give the San Jose Earthquakes a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.
McLoughlin opened the scoring with a well-placed header in the 71st minute just four minutes after entering the game as a second-half substitute while Convey converted what proved to be the game-winning strike from a set piece in the 83rd minute.
Chris Tierney scored his second career goal in the 86th minute to pull the Revs (3-4-4, 13 points) within one in the closing stages, but the late comeback fell short as the Earthquakes (3-4-3, 12 points) secured their second consecutive home victory.
For the first time this season, Revolution coach Steve Nicol named an unchanged starting lineup after his side claimed a 1-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC last weekend. Unavailable once again was the injured trio of Ousmane Dabo (R adductor strain), Didier Domi (L quad strain) and Marko Perovic (L knee sprain).
The Revs controlled possession in the very early stages, but it was San Jose which created the games first scoring chance in the seventh minute. Steven Lenhart teed up Joey Gjertsen for a drive from the top of the box, forcing Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis into a smart save.
Reis had the crossbar to thank for keeping the game scoreless in the 13th minute, when Khari Stephensons clever free kick eluded the wall and crashed off the woodwork.
Shalrie Joseph returned the pressure by testing Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch with a knuckling drive in the 25th minute, but the veteran netminder was alert to punch the shot away.
New England continued to gain a foothold as the first half progressed and had legitimate appeals for a penalty waved away in the 37th minute when Tierney appeared to be taken down in the box as he shaped to shoot. No foul was given, however, and the teams went into the halftime break scoreless.
After finishing the first half with a surge, the Revs began the second half in a similar vein and threatened again in the 56th minute. Benny Feilhaber linked up with Joseph outside the box and the captain slipped a pass into the right side of the area for Rajko Lekic, whose quick shot was easily handled by Busch.
Despite holding the upper hand through large parts of the match, the Revs eventually conceded the opener in the 71st minute as they saw their 283-minute shutout streak come to an end. MLS 2010 Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski was the provider as his right-wing cross found McLoughlin at the back post for a free header, which he guided back across the face of goal and inside the right post.
Wondolowski almost put his own name on the score sheet in the 79th minute when his blistering shot from 20 yards out whistled past the right post, but Convey one-upped his teammate with a fantastic finish to double the Earthquakes lead four minutes later. Convey seemed likely to cross from a free kick toward the right touchline, but instead whipped a vicious shot into the far upper corner as it kissed off the left post.
Tierney pulled one back for the Revolution with a curling free kick in the 86th minute expertly bending the ball around the wall and inside the left post but the goal proved to be mere consolation as a frantic late push failed to result in an equalizer.
The Revs will return to action on Wednesday, May 25, when they visit Sporting Kansas City for a U.S. Open Cup play-in match at the Blue Valley District Activities Complex in Overland Park, Kan. The Revolutions league schedule will resume on Saturday, May 28, when the club hosts the LA Galaxy at Gillette Stadium.