By JOSE M. ROMERO
For three months, the San Jose Earthquakes either lost or drew in 13 consecutive MLS matches.
The cherished three points were not to be had, time after time. Until Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.
San Jose won a league game for the first time since June 11, topping the Chicago Fire 2-0 on goals by Chris Wondolowski and Ramiro Corrales.
Goalkeeper Jon Busch made two huge stops — on shots by Dominic Oduro and Pavel Pardo — within seconds of one another late in the first half to keep the Quakes in front 1-0 at halftime.
Wondolowksi got a fairly easy chance in scoring his 10th goal of the season, watching a pinpoint ball from Rafael Baca land at his feet in front of the goal and ahead of defender Dan Gargan in the 10th minute.
Gargan missed plenty of open net far post in the 17th minute on a nice give-and-go that saw him with the ball in space on the left side. The shot went near post instead and clanged off the post.
The second half saw the Earthquakes take over, at least in the early part. But Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson was up to the task of keeping his team in the match. After defender Jalil Anibaba was caught with a handball in the box in the 52nd minute, Wondolowski lined up for the PK. He took a circuitous rout to the ball and Johnson had an extra moment to guess correctly, diving and stopping Wondo's shot.
San Jose (6-10-11, 29 points) kept up the pressure, however. The Quakes executed a nifty 1-2 play of their own, Corrales to Wondolowski and back to Corrales running down the middle for the shot and goal.
Corrales ran past Anibaba to get free.
The Earthquakes aren't completely out of the playoff chase thanks to the three points. But their remaining schedule is loaded with a number of teams that are either in better playoff position or are angling for a higher seed.