The New England Revolution failed to extend their shutout streak or their unbeaten streak Saturday night when they lost 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium. Ellis McLoughlin and Bobby Convey were the scorers for the Quakes while Chris Tierney's first goal of the season earned the Revs their consolation.
The match was not without controversy. Referee Yader Reyes signaled for three minutes of extra time at the minimum, but appeared to blow full time after just two minutes and twelve seconds.
The Earthquakes had the first clear chance of the match in just the seventh minute. Steven Lenhart collected the ball at the edge of the box and did very well to hold off Revolution defenders before laying it off to Joey Gjertsen. The wide midfielder ripped a blast that Matt Reis was on hand to parry away. Khari Stephenson followed that up six minutes later with a free kick from the same position that nearly snapped the crossbar in half it was hit so hard, but ultimately went out for a corner.
The Revolution's first half-chance came in the 19th minute when a mishit Kevin Alston cross dribbled out to Stephen McCarthy, who scuffed his own shot from distance and had it blocked. Shalrie Joseph was sure to get his effort on frame in the 25th, though, when he unleashed a 30-yard knuckler that Jon Busch had to parry away.
At that point it seemed like New England dialed up the pressure and started taking the initiative despite being away from home. Chris Tierney pinged a free-kick into the box in the 30th minute that was headed wide by Ryan Cochrane. Just two minutes later, Benny Feilhaber hit a low drive that was blocked out for a corner by Ike Opara.
Chris Tierney tried to draw a penalty at one end but was rightfully denied by the referee, which was followed by a San Jose break at the other end resulting in a Khari Stephenson drive blocked out for a corner. A pattern of blocked shots and half-chances had emerged by the 35th minute or so. The next clear chance came again from a free kick, with Cochrane once again heading wide. The Quakes finished the half in the 45th minute with one of their best chances of the half, a close-range Lenhart header that fell wide at the near post.
Rajko Lekic made his first real impact on the game in the 56th minute as he was sprung in the area, but he was falling away and marked as he took the shot and was unable to get much on it, allowing Busch to cover the angle and smother it easily. The following ten minutes featured increasingly physical play, with incidents involving Bobby Convey, Lekic, Lenhart and McCarthy highlighting a match getting increasingly more heated.
Against the run of play, it was the San Jose Earthquakes who broke the deadlock in the 71st minute. Chris Wondolowski freed himself on the right with a cut-back to his left foot and sent in a far post cross. Kevin Alston appeared to lose his position and drift to the already-marked Steven Lenhart, leaving substitute Ellis McLoughlin open for the free header and goal behind him.
Wondo obviously wanted in on the act, and in the 79th he nearly got his wish. He collected the ball outside the area and with a quick turn unleashed a crushing left-footer that buzzed wide of the post. Just a minute later, the end-to-end stuff continued as Benny Feilhaber floated a ball into the box and Lekic just failed to reach it at the far post with a karate kick effort.
San Jose doubled their advantage in the 83rd when Bobby Convey continued to prove Bob Bradley's refusal to call him into camp confounding. Setting up for a free kick at the corner of the area, he lofted in a ball that flew in high but bent wickedly to nestle into the far post top corner. Matt Reis may have been caught cheating a bit, expecting a cross, but the free kick looked to be going in regardless of his positioning.
New England managed to claw one back with some free kick magic of their own in the 86th minute. Chris Tierney was about 22 yards out and struck a low, left-footed drive that bent around the wall and bulged the back of the net past a despairing Jon Busch. The Revs nearly snatched a draw with a corner two minutes into stoppage time when the ball bounded to Feilhaber at the far post. He collected and shot from very close range, but it was deflected out.