By IAN HOLLIDAY
Bobby Convey lofted home a beautiful free kick in the 83rd minute and the San Jose Earthquakes weathered a frantic final 10 minutes to hold on for a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution at Buck Shaw Stadium Saturday night.
The win improves the Earthquakes to 3-4-3 (12 points) on the season, while the Revs drop to 3-4-4 (13 points).
Second-half substitute Ellis McLoughlin had put the home side ahead in the 71st minute with his first MLS goal in just his third league appearance. A well-weighted cross from Chris Wondolowski found McLoughlin unmarked at the back post, and the 21-year-old made no mistake with his header.
The Revolution got a goal back through Chris Tierney in the 86th minute. The midfielder bent a low, hard free kick around the wall and past San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch, setting off a whirlwind finish to a match that, for 70 minutes, had been rather uneventful.
After Tierney's goal, the Revs pushed desparately forward, looking for the equalizer. Corner after corner fell in the box before being cleared unconvincingly by the home side, but in the end, the visitors couldn't break through.
The Earthquakes were aided by the fact that referee Yader Reyes, who had managed the game well to that point, blew the final whistle after just two of a promised three minutes of stoppage time.
San Jose started strongly, pressuring the Revs into some uncomfortable fouls, one of which resulted in the club's best chance of the first half, a 20-yard Khari Stephenson free kick that clanged off the crossbar in the 13th minute.
The Revs' play improved as the half went on, however, and the club ended the half with a slight advantage in possession. Possession didn't translate into shots, though, as a 30-yard blast from Shalrie Joseph in the 25th minute was the Revs' only effort on frame.
New England thought it should have had a penalty in the 37th minute when Tierney was bumped down from behind by Earthquakes defender Chris Leitch, but Reyes kept his whistle in his pocket.
San Jose caused chaos in the box on its first corner kick of the match a minute later, but the wayward cross couldn't find a friendly foot, bouncing off several players before the Revolution was able to clear.
Both clubs will play U.S. Open Cup qualification finals this week. The Earthquakes host the Chicago Fire Tuesday night, while the Revs travel to Kansas City to face Sporting.
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