San Jose, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - A fantastic strike from Javier Morales in the 44th minute was the difference as Real Salt Lake claimed a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium on Sunday.
There wasn't a lot to choose from between the two sides, but Morales produced the one moment of brilliance to separate the teams just before halftime when he scored on a 20-yard rocket after his free kick was hit into the wall.
The result keeps RSL unbeaten to start the campaign and the team has now won back-to-back matches, while the Earthquakes have lost two straight after a two-game winning run.
It took a while for the contest to come to life, but Morales struck in a big way in the 44th minute.
He lined up a free kick 25 yards from goal and hit the ball directly into the wall. However, it rebounded straight back into his path and he made the most of his second chance, smashing the ball first-time off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
San Jose nearly answered within a minute as Sanna Nyassi's low cross was played to the near post for Adam Jahn, whose backheel went just wide of the far post.
Victor Bernardez made an important goal line clearance in the 69th minute to deny Devon Sandoval and keep San Jose within a goal, but the hosts were unable to seriously threaten Nick Rimando's net and RSL held on for the win.