Santa Clara, CA – San Jose needed a little luck Saturday, and bad luck found the struggling Earthquakes.
Joey Gjertsen scored midway through the first half for San Jose, but a penalty kick and a questionable red card helped the defending Major League Soccer Cup champion Colorado Rapids rally for a 2-1 win at Buck Shaw Stadium.
San Jose (5-9-10) is now winless in 11 straight matches, dating back to a win over D.C. United in early June. The Earthquakes have just six goals during the streak, and lost for the fifth time in the run.
Colorado (10-6-10) had goals from Caleb Folan and Jeff Larentowicz, who scored off a free kick that went through the legs of San Jose's Simon Dawkins for the game-winner in the 72nd minute.
San Jose got the breaks it was searching for to end its 10-match skid early in the fixture, as Folan hit the post in the seventh minute and Gjertsen followed with his first goal of the season.
The Earthquakes were 4-1-3 when scoring first, but the Rapids added the second loss to that record, with the tying goal coming six minutes before halftime.
Pablo Mastroeni played a ball in from the right side that hit the trailing arm of a sliding Sam Cronin and Colorado won a penalty that Folan converted with a shot to the left side in the 39th for his fifth goal of the season.
Cronin's night got worse five minutes into the second half after he was sent off for what appeared to be a harmless challenge on Mastroeni and Colorado was able to find the winning goal later in the half.
Although San Jose played well down a man, including an open chance Wondolowski lifted over the bar from six yards, a break down in its defensive wall allowed Larentowicz to notch the game-winner.
Larentowicz drove a free kick to the edge the of wall, and Dawkins allowed the ball to go through his legs and left goalie Jon Busch stranded as the ball hit the back of the net inside the left post.
Macoumba Kandji made his return from an ACL injury suffered in the 2010 MLS Cup in the 85th, and Colorado held on to seal its 10th win of the season, also its third straight win.
The Earthquakes end their three-match homestand with just one point, and visit the Los Angeles Galaxy in their next match Aug. 20. Colorado hosts Chivas USA on Aug. 20.