The San Jose Earthquakes lost in Toronto for the first time in history Saturday, thwarting the Quakes bid for a third consecutive victory.
Jermain Defoe’s first-half penalty kick provided the game’s only goal and gave Toronto a 1-0 victory, extending their undefeated streak to four matches.
Toronto was awarded a penalty after Alan Gordon inadvertently elbowed Nick Hagglund off a corner kick in the 26th minute. Defoe took the spot kick perfectly, slamming it into the left side of Jon Busch’s net, and giving the Englishman his third goal in his last two league matches and his seventh in eight matches this season.
Busch has saved one penalty — last week at Dallas — in 16 attempts as an Earthquake.
San Jose was bit by the injury bug once again, with three of last weeks starters — Yannick Djalo, Khari Stevenson and Attiba Harris — all unavaliable at game time.
In addition to his involvement in the game’s only goal, Toronto’s Hagglund had a terrific all-around game. The rookie right-back contributed to a clean sheet and was dangerous going forward, attempting four shots and one on target.
The Canadian side took nearly all the chances in the first half, attempting 10 shots to San Jose’s one, and putting four of those on target, something the Quakes could not muster once all half.
One of those chances nearly doubled Toronto’s lead, when Luke Moor hit a low strike on a loose ball in the San Jose box. Jon Busch made another good reaction save, but once again the ball needed to be cleared after it deflected off the keeper into a dangerous area.
The first real scoring opportunity in a cagey second half came on a near-miss header from Haggulund, who found himself unmarked in the box off a free kick. The free kick was issued after an intentional hand ball by Clarence Goodson, who swatted it out of the air after he realized it was going over his head for a streaking Defoe.
Goodson was fortunate to only receive a yellow, as Defoe was in position for a goal scoring opportunity.
Quakes Rookie substitute JJ Koval had an opportunity for a late equalizer when Toronto failed to clear on a set piece.
The ball fell to Koval in the middle of the box, but the Stanford alum did not get clean contact, scuffing it off target.