Cristian Espinoza, Daniel carry Earthquakes past Whitecaps

Cristian Espinoza scored his 12th goal of the season and Daniel made seven saves to lead the San Jose Earthquakes to a 1-0 win over the host Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday.

It was only the second road victory (2-6-4) of the season for the Earthquakes, and it came at one of the tougher away venues in MLS. The Whitecaps drop to 7-3-4 at home.

The result was all the more unlikely given that Vancouver (8-8-7, 31 points) dominated the action. The Whitecaps held possession for 58.3 percent of the match and outshot San Jose by a 19-3 margin, including an 8-1 edge in shots on target.

However, the Earthquakes (9-7-8, 35 points) made their lone target count, as Espinoza extended his scoring streak to four matches.

In the 43rd minute, San Jose took advantage of the Whitecaps' pressure by launching a counterattack. Jeremy Ebobisse crossed to Espinoza for the decisive strike before Vancouver's defenders were ready.

Daniel did the rest, recording his fourth clean sheet of the season. He held strong against the Whitecaps' constant pressure, making saves on Sergio Cordova and Brian White in the 14th minute. The second of those stops saw Daniel deny White's close-range header off a well-placed cross from Pedro Vite.

The Earthquakes didn't have a single shot in the second half, focusing entirely on defending and limiting Vancouver to two shots on goal during the final 45 minutes.

Daniel again came up big when the Whitecaps did challenge, making another impressive save in the 60th minute off a tricky redirected shot from Cordova.

San Jose also got some help from the goalpost in the 81st minute. Sam Adekugbe's free kick curved around the wall toward the far side of the net but hit the post on the Whitecaps' closest chance of the match.

Adekugbe and Richie Laryea were playing their first matches with Vancouver since being acquired during the transfer window. Laryea had two shots in the first 45 minutes before being substituted for Adekugbe at halftime.

--Field Level Media