Earthquakes ease past Dallas in home opener
San Jose Earthquakes earned their first win of the season, a comfortable 3-1 home victory over FC Dallas on Saturday.
Oswaldo Alanis' first half penalty was added to after the break by Cristian Espinoza and Cade Cowell, meaning Ricardo Pepi's late effort was no more than a consolation.
The performance and the result was exactly what Matias Almeyda would have been looking for, after the Earthquakes suffered defeat in their opener last week.
Making one change from the side beaten at Houston Dynamo, Paul Marie replaced the injured Marcos Lopez at left-back, meaning Cowell kept his place in the side ahead of Chris Wondolowski.
Almeyda's men came out of the traps quickly and should have opened the scoring early on; however Espinoza's penalty was well saved by Jimmy Maurer in the Dallas goal.
It wasn't long though before the hosts had another chance from the spot, after VAR ruled Tanner Tessmann to have handled Eric Remedi's shot. This time defender Alanis stepped up and although Maurer got a hand to the ball, he couldn't keep out a second penalty.
FC Dallas should have levelled before the break, however Ryan Hollingshead's close range effort was denied brilliantly on the line by Carlos Fierro.
In the second half San Jose took further control, with Espinoza making amends for his earlier missed penalty to double their lead.
Cowell did brilliantly to find Espinoza with a superb through ball and the Argentine was incredibly calm when one-on-one with Maurer, delicately lifting the ball over the keeper.
Just nine minutes later, provider then turned goalscorer to seal the win, doing brilliantly to jig past two players in the box, before curling home from around the penalty spot.
Dallas managed to pull one back late on, with Pepi converting from close range, after Andres Ricuarte's shot was well saved by JT Marcinkowski.
Chris Wondolowski was sent off in the 88th minute; however little could tarnish an excellent home opening performance for San Jose.
Next up for the Earthquakes is a favourable home tie with DC United on Saturday 1st May.
By Joshua Jones