Chris Wondolowski turned in the lone goal as the San Jose Earthquakes defeated the Colorado Rapids on opening day of the Major League Soccer season.
The American international headed in Alberto Quintero’s cross for his 110th league goal within 20 seconds of the restart.
Second half substitute and Rapids debutant Marco Pappa nearly equalised in the 81st minute from a free kick but his shot went wide of David Bingham’s post.
Colorado has not won on the first day of the season since 2012 when it beat the Columbus Crew whilst the Earthquakes are 6-0-6 in their last 12 matches against the Rapids.
Quincy Amarikwa broke through the Colorado defence on 10 minutes but Jared Watts tracked back before making a textbook tackle inside the box.
The Rapids’ Sam Cronin and Kevin Doyle then each forced Bingham into first half saves, which he made with ease.
San Jose manager brought on Colvey for Francis at halftime and the breakthrough came instantly as Quintero found space on the right. The midfielder’s ball over the defence was met by Wondolowski who directed his header into the bottom right corner.
Simon Dawkins almost doubled the lead in the 48th minute but the ball bounced off his shin and ran into the hands of the Colorado goalkeeper.
Bimgham – the busier of the two stoppers in the second half – prevented Dillon Powers from netting the equaliser following a scramble inside the six-yard box on 56 minutes.
But Zac MacMath did well to stop Wondolowski from adding to his earlier tally after latching onto Shea Salinas’ cross.
Marco Pappa was handed his team debut when he replaced Marlon Hairston ten minutes from full-time.
The Guatemalan shot wide from a free kick just 120 seconds later after Amarikwa had fouled Cronin.
A determined Colorado nearly levelled in the 85th minute but Eric Miller saw his long-distance shot covered by Bingham who blocked ball behind.
And from the ensuing corner, the Rapids had their right-footed effort blocked away before Pappa was beaten to ball five minutes later.
San Jose Earthquakes: Bingham, Francis (Colvey 46’), Bernardez, Goodson, Wynne, Salinas (Silva 90’), Godoy, Dawkins, Quintero (Thompson 76’), Wondolowski (c), Amarikwa.
Unused subs: Meredith, Innocent, Thompson, Jahn, Sherrod.
Bookings: Quintero, Godoy.
Colorado Rapids: MacMath, Miller, Sjoberg, Watts, Hairston (Pappa 79’), Cronin, Azira, Powers, Badji, Gashi (Solignac 67’), K. Doyle (c).
Unused subs: Burling, C. Doyle, Froschauer, Serna, Williams.
Bookings: Michael Azira, Powers.
Referee: Ted Unkel