SANTA CLARA -- Levi's Stadium enjoyed a rousing debut Saturday night thanks in part to the Earthquakes' hard-fought 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC.

The Quakes (6-8-5) showcased what Major League Soccer is all about with a crowd-pleasing victory over the first-place Sounders in front of 48,765 fans.

Many were focused on whether the 49ers' new $1.3 billion stadium could handle the traffic and crowds. But the last-place Quakes wanted to make a statement.

"It was three points that we were desperate to get," coach Mark Watson said.

The team that plays in 10,525-seat Buck Shaw Stadium understood the significance of stepping into the spotlight during the 49ers' test event for their state-of-art facility.

But while sitting in last place in the Western Conference, all that mattered to San Jose was winning

They accomplished their No. 1 goal behind Yannick Djalo, who scored near the end of the first half to mark the first magical sporting moment in Levi's budding history.

"I've had big moments in my career," said Djalo, on loan from SL Benfica in Lisbon, Portugal. "Tonight will take a special place among those memories."

But it also will be recounted as a scary moment for Djalo, who left the game in the 60th minute with a quadriceps muscle strain.

The oft-injured Djalo said it was too early to tell how serious it is, but with forward Steven Lenhart out for at least a month after having knee surgery Friday, it could be a blow.


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With the Quakes on a three-game MLS unbeaten streak, they are hopeful Djalo will be ready for a showdown Friday against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

They need Djalo, as underscored by a dominant performance in his first game after winning MLS player of the week honors.

The historic goal came in the 42nd minute on what started off looking like a routine foray toward Seattle's net.

Chris Wondolowski, playing deep, took a pass in traffic and calmly turned. He quickly fed Djalo, who got his second goal in consecutive MLS games.

Djalo pushed the ball past goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who had charged out to challenge the striker.

Wondolowski made a brilliant pass but gave Djalo all the credit.

"He made a darting run -- it just catches your eye," Wondolowski said.

After it got the lead, San Jose controlled the second half to win its second in a row as it tries to jump back into the MLS playoff race.

After Djalo's departure, it took stubborn defense to keep Seattle (12-6-2) out of the net. Goalkeeper Jon Busch was put to the test with eight saves, and Wondolowski headed a Chad Barrett shot off the line late in the game.

"I was a bit confused on what box to be in, but I'll take it," said Wondolowski, who also has elevated his game since returning from the World Cup.

"We're playing at our best right now," he added.

The Earthquakes hope to get even better with new acquisition Matias Perez Garcia, who could be available for Friday's game against Los Angeles. He is waiting for transfer papers from the Argentine federation.

Saturday proved to be a good start, shutting out a team that entered with a league-leading 35 goals this year.

Watson said the plan was to deny Sounders star Clint Dempsey the ball in the middle. It took a crew to complete the chore, but for much of the game the U.S. international striker didn't get great looks.

"We try to give joy to the fans," Djalo said.

The Quakes created a lot of goodwill from this result.

In THE A SECTION

More coverage of the first athletic event at the 49ers' Levi's Stadium.

FRIDAY'S GAME

Earthquakes (6-8-5) at L.A. Galaxy (9-4-6), 7:30 p.m. NBCSN