Chris Wondolowski scored on a penalty kick midway through the second half to give the Quakes a lifeline, but a barrage of late scoring opportunities went wanting, and San Jose saw its two game winning streak snapped at Gillette Stadium.
With a steady snowfall that started before kickoff and intensified as the game progressed, the match favored the more aggressive side. Unfortunately for San Jose, it was the home side that played that role, harassing the Quakes all over the field and making it very difficult for the visitors to anything meaningful with the possession they had.
Compounding the problem was that from the opening whistle the Revolution targeted the left side of the Quakes defense, specifically left back Shaun Francis, and they found repeated success. In the 21st minute, Francis caused his own trouble with a giveaway near the center line that New England quickly turned into a counterattack.
Rowe, who had intercepted the Francis turnover, sprinted into space near the top of the area and received the ball with plenty of time and space to line up a shot. He fired on target, a ball that goalkeeper David Bingham looked to have a bead on, but a deflection off of Francis redirected the ball into the net for a 1-0 New England lead.
The Revolution doubled its advantage in the 37th minute from a set piece opportunity, as Rowe again found the back of the net. A free kick into the mix from Chris Tierney was initially headed by Darrius Barnes then slammed home from a tight angle by Rowe. Bingham was caught between touches and couldn't react quick enough to protect his near post.
San Jose never looked comfortable in the attacking third, even with three designated players in the formation. No sooner with the Quakes break on offense that they would find themselves surrounded by the Revolution defense. The home side always had the numbers to protect their penalty area.
Head coach Dominic Kinnear made a pair of adjustments at halftime to try to break his team from its malaise, bringing in Shea Salinas and Adam Jahn for Sanna Nyassi and JJ Koval. In the 53rd minute, he was forced to switch out Marvell Wynne for Cordell Cato when the right back suffered an apparent hamstring injury.
The changes did even out the game to some degree, especially the introduction of Jahn as a true target forward. On a corner kick in the 61st minute, the Quakes finally caught a break when Clarence Goodson was fouled in the box after a hard tackle by Scott Caldwell and earned a penalty kick. Wondolowski, the team's designated spot-kick taker, sent a low shot past a wrong-footed Bobby Shuttleworth to bring the score to 2-1.
Down by just one goal, the Earthquakes played with more aggression over the last 10 minutes of the match, knowing that a loss by one goal or more goals still counts the same in the standings. In the 89th minute, a strong run by Salinas gave him space on the left to get in an open cross, but the delivery was just out of the reach of Jahn. In the third minute of stoppage time, Wondolowski drilled a shot that Shuttleworth expertly saved. On the corner kick, Pierazzi nearly turned a ball on goal, but his attempt went wide of the target.
The last gasp effort from San Jose went unrewarded, and the Revolution hung on for the 2-1 victory and all three points on offer. The Earthquakes defeat evened their record on the year to 2-2-0. San Jose returns home to play Real Salt Lake next Sunday at Avaya Stadium.