The San Jose Earthquakes defeated the Seattle Sounders 2-0 on Wednesday night at PayPal Park in San Jose, Calif., behind goals on either side of halftime by Cristian Espinoza and Miguel Trauco.
The Sounders had a chance to take the lead just seven minutes in when Héber received the ball inside the box with his back to goal, turned and fired a shot that goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski went down to his left to save.
The match tilted in San Jose’s favor in the 18th minute when Yeimar fouled Jeremy Ebobisse in the box and Espinoza stepped up to bury the ensuing penalty.
Seattle dominated possession in the first half, owning 60% of the ball but couldn’t find a breakthrough.
San Jose thought it had doubled its lead just two minutes into the second half, but Jack Skahan’s goal was disallowed for offside.
The Earthquakes did take a two-goal lead in the 65th minute when Trauco scored on a volley off a corner kick.
Léo Chú nearly halved the deficit in the 78th minute when he drove past several San Jose players and his right-footed shot skipped just past the far post.
The Sounders had a penalty shout in the 87th minute when the referee went to Video Review for a potential handball against Rodrigues, but a PK was not awarded.
Mini streak snapped
After winning two matches in a row over the Houston Dynamo and Vancouver Whitecaps to start the month of July, the Sounders dropped their first match in their last four. Seattle finishes the night third in MLS, three points behind St. Louis CITY SC in first.
João Paulo shines
Despite the result, the Sounders’ Brazilian No. 6 was everywhere on Wednesday night. João Paulo had a 90 percent passing rate and was involved in 13 duels in his 66 minutes on the pitch.
The Sounders will likely have the services of Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan when they host FC Dallas this Saturday (7:30 p.m. PT; Watch free on Apple TV | TICKETS). Morris and Roldan were part of the United States national team that saw its Concacaf Gold Cup tournament come to an end on Wednesday in a penalty shootout loss to Panama in the semifinals.