Danny Hoesen had two goals and Valeri “Vako” Qazaishvili added a goal and two assists and the San Jose Earthquakes held on for a 3-2 victory over Minnesota United in the season opener for both teams on Saturday night at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif.
Chris Wondolowski had an assist and goaltender Andrew Tarbell finished with three saves for San Jose, which presented Mikael Stahre with a victory in his first game as head coach of the Earthquakes.
After San Jose jumped on top 3-0, Kevin Molino scored in the 81st minute and 85th minute for Minnesota United.
The visitors finished with a 56.4 percent to 43.6 percent edge in time of possession but were outshot 18-14, including 9-5 in shots on target. Loons goalie Matt Lampson finished with six saves.
San Jose, which needed a goal in the third minute of stoppage time to defeat Minnesota United 3-2 in the regular-season finale between the two teams in October, dominated the first half Saturday while building a 2-0 halftime lead. The Quakes outshot the Loons 14-5 before the break, including 7-2 in shots on target.
Hoesen, taking over the No. 9 role occupied last season by Costa Rican international Marco Urena, who was the third pick of the MLS expansion draft by Los Angeles FC, gave San Jose a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute. He one-timed a crossing pass from Vako into the right corner from the top of the box.
The Earthquakes made it 2-0 just a minute later thanks to a nice defensive effort from a pressing Wondolowski. The forward stole the ball in the right corner and then quickly sent a crossing pass through the goal to Vako, who tapped it into the left corner of the net for his sixth career goal.
San Jose just missed making it 3-0 six minutes later when Magnus Ericksson hit the left post with a shot.
Hoesen made it 3-0 in the 59th minute when he took a pass from Vako running into the right side of the box and then fired a shot past a diving Lampson into the left corner of the goal. It was Hoesen’s fifth goal in his past seven regular-season games.
Molino finally broke through for the Loons in the 81st minute, sending a pass from Christian Ramirez in the center of the box into the left corner.
Molino then made it to 3-2 four minutes later when he turned and fired in a shot from about 5 yards above the top of the box into the right corner past a surprised Tarbell.
—Field Level Media