Santa Clara, CA (Sports Network) - Victor Bernardez and Steven Lenhart scored
three minutes apart on Saturday as the 10-man San Jose Earthquakes held on for
a 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The 'Quakes came into the key Western Conference clash with some positive
momentum following last week's 1-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders, and they
had several scoring opportunities early on.
But Portland, which had only lost twice prior to Saturday, went toe-to-toe with
San Jose for chances and had a golden opportunity to strike right at the end of
the first half.
With time winding down in the opening 45 minutes, Portland captain Will Johnson
ran onto an aerial pass over the top and volleyed it on frame, but San Jose
goalkeeper Jon Busch made a diving save to send the sides into the break
San Jose midfielder Shea Salinas made something positive happen for his team in
the 53rd minute when he used some fancy footwork to get into the Portland
penalty area before being dragged down by Portland defender Andrew Jean-
Baptiste, resulting in a spot kick.
Bernardez stepped up and calmly sent Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts the
wrong way for his first goal of the season.
Just minutes later, Salinas played facilitator again as he floated a nice ball
over the top for Lenhart, who touched it home first time to make it a two-goal
margin for the hosts.
But the drama went up a notch late on when Portland pulled one back through
Darlington Nagbe's sixth goal of the season in the 83rd minute, and a couple
minutes later, San Jose midfielder Marvin Chavez was sent off, reducing the
'Quakes to 10 men.
The Timbers sent numbers forward with the extra man in search of a late
equalizer, but it never materialized and the Earthquakes held on for an
important three points.
The Sports Network