SANTA CLARA (AP) — Victor Bernardez and Steven Lenhart scored three minutes apart in the second half and the San Jose Earthquakes earned a 2-1 victory against the Portland Timbers on Saturday.
Bernardez, a center back, stepped up in the absence of forward Chris Wondolowski and converted a 55th-minute penalty kick to give San Jose the lead.
Lenhart slipped in behind the Timbers’ defense to touch home a long free kick by Shea Salinas in the 58th minute.
Darlington Nagbe scored for the Timbers in the 83rd minute, but Portland couldn’t find an equalizer even after San Jose midfielder Marvin Chavez was given two yellow cards and was ejected in the 86th minute.
San Jose (7-9-6) won its second straight match to move past Seattle and into seventh place in the Western Conference.
The Timbers (8-3-10) lost for the second time in four games since their 15-match winless streak ended earlier this month.
Salinas earned the penalty kick — the fourth called against Portland this season — when his counterattack ended in a collision with Timbers center back Andrew Jean-Baptiste.
San Jose’s penalty kicks are usually taken by Wondolowski, but he is playing with the U.S. Gold Cup squad.
Bernardez, known primarily for his booming free kicks, used a bit more finesse to beat Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who came in with the league’s second-best goals-against average at 0.84.
Bernardez went low to Ricketts’ right as the Jamaican international went in the opposite direction.
Nagbe was freed by a well-placed back heel pass from Frederic Piquionne and slotted home from 14 yards.
That goal could have been the equalizer if Piquionne’s 66th-minute volley from just outside the box hadn’t caromed off Bernardez, over goalkeeper Jon Busch and off the crossbar.