Wondo strike lifts Quakes over Rapids
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Chris Wondolowski scored his 10th goal of the season and the San Jose Earthquakes made it stand for a 1-0 victory against the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday.
The win moved sixth-place San Jose (13-11-8) within a point of both Colorado (13-10-9) and the L.A. Galaxy (14-11-6), who hold the last two playoff spots in the Western Conference.
Colorado kept Wondolowski off the scoreboard with multiple saves before the reigning league MVP broke through in the 69th minute, snapping a powerful header from a Shea Salinas corner kick that left Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin flat-footed.
It was the league-leading seventh game-winning goal for Wondolowski, who has reached double digits in league scoring for four straight years.
San Jose improved to 4-0-1 in its past five matches as the 2012 Supporters' Shield winners attempt to reach the postseason. The Earthquakes extended their unbeaten streak at home to 15 matches.
The Earthquakes had eight corner kicks to Colorado's two, keeping the Rapids' defense under pressure for much of the match.
Alan Gordon almost put San Jose ahead in the ninth minute with a header off a corner kick that crashed against the post and away from Colorado's goal.
Colorado defender Drew Moor delivered goal-line saves against Wondolowski and Gordon in the 64th minute.
Irwin smothered Wondolowski's shot in the 51st minute, then made a diving left-handed stop to deflect Wondolowski's redirection of a free kick in the 69th minute. Wondolowski scored off the ensuing corner.
The Rapids, who finish with a home-and-home series against Vancouver, still control their playoff destiny. The Earthquakes still need help even if they close the season with victories against the Galaxy and FC Dallas.