After Chris Wondolowski scored in the 19th minute for San Jose (4-4-2), the Earthquakes seemed content to let the defense and goalkeeper David Bingham take over in the second. It finally cost them when Colorado's Vicente Sanchez put a shot on goal that Bingham punched straight to Riley, who floated the header over two defenders to the back post.
Colorado (1-2-7) missed two header attempts in the final minute, with one hitting the top post.
San Jose scored when Sanna Nyassi's header crossed to Wondolowski, who was unmarked just outside the box. Wondolowski stopped it with his right foot, fooling jumping goalkeeper Clint Irwin. Wondolowski touched it once more before drilling it just inside the right post.
San Jose has played three road games in eight nights, going 1-0-2 during the stretch.