SAN JOSE, California — Matias Perez Garcia scored in the 87th minute to give the San Jose Earthquakes a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on Sunday, a result they desperately needed to keep their playoff hopes alive.
San Jose (12-12-7, 43 points) closed within a point of Portland for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Earthquakes have three games left, and Portland has four to go.
Real Salt Lake (10-11-8, 38) remained six points behind the Timbers with four games remaining.
Garcia approached a ball that Quincy Amarikwa headed back to him outside the box and he launched a left-footed shot that deflected of a Salt Lake defender into the bottom right corner.
Garcia ripped off his jersey in celebration and was rewarded with his second yellow card, forcing the Quakes to play a man down through the end that included four minutes of stoppage time.
San Jose dominated with a 20-6 shots advantage.