SANTA CLARA (AP) — Alvaro Saborio scored twice in the final 20 minutes and Real Salt Lake kept defending league MVP Chris Wondolowski off the score sheet to beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 Sunday night.
Saborio broke open a scoreless match in the 71st minute when he outraced two San Jose defenders to reach a pass that Joao Plata looped over the Earthquakes’ back line. Saborio, RSL’s leading scorer in each of the last three seasons, then finished with a strong right foot from 17 yards, beating San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch to the near post.
RSL got its insurance goal in the 85th minute when Kyle Beckerman — making his 300th career MLS appearance — found Saborio unmarked in the Quakes’ box. The Costa Rican international swiveled at 11 yards to tuck a left-footed shot inside the far post.
RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando made two saves for his 100th MLS shutout. He ranks second on the league’s all-time list, trailing only Kevin Hartman.
Coming off a Supporters’ Shield-winning season with a franchise-record 72 goals, the Earthquakes were held scoreless for the first time in 16 regular-season matches. It was not for a lack of trying by Wondolowski, who tied Roy Lassiter’s single-season MLS scoring record last year with 27 goals.
Wondolowski took seven shots on the night but couldn’t convert any of them. That included a bouncing half-volley in the 15th minute that crashed off the crossbar thanks to a fingertip touch by Rimando, and a wide-open full volley in the 35th that Wondolowski sent wide.
It was a measure of revenge for the visitors, who lost all three matches to San Jose last year, including 3-1 and 5-0 road defeats. RSL is now 3-0 in opening-weekend matches at Buck Shaw Stadium, having also won here to begin the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
The loss snapped San Jose’s 18-match regular-season unbeaten streak at Buck Shaw, which dated to Aug. 13, 2011. It was also the first time San Jose went scoreless in a regular-season contest since a 0-0 draw at FC Dallas on July 7.