Chris Wondolowski scored for the third time in as many league matches and the San Jose Earthquakes extended their home winning streak to five consecutive games with a 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Sunday night.
Wondolowski and the Earthquakes broke through in the 55th minute against one of the MLS' stingiest defenses. Steven Beitashour delivered a cross off a deflected ball on the right wing and Wondolowski knifed behind Sporting's back line to reach the looping pass and head it inside the near post from 12 yards out for his eighth goal.
San Jose (9-10-6) kept alive its faint playoff hopes with the victory, moving into a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with FC Dallas on 33 points.
Sporting Kansas City (11-8-6) retained its share of the Eastern Conference top spot, but lost its game in hand on co-leader New York.
The five-game home winning streak is San Jose's longest since August 2005.
Wondolowski has scored in five straight matches against Sporting Kansas City.
San Jose had the best chance of the first half when Clarence Goodson rose to meet Marvin Chavez's 33rd-minute free kick deep inside Kansas City's box. But Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen prevented the U.S. international's first goal for San Jose with a diving, right-handed stop.
The visitors' appeals for a penalty kick were denied in the 65th minute after Matt Besler's free kick from the right wing was flicked forward by Aurelin Collin and Kansas City's Soony Saad collided with Beitashour at the back post.