SANTA CLARA -- The Earthquakes' mystique at Buck Shaw Stadium lived on Saturday night in a wild, testy Major League Soccer game in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,744.
Floppy-haired Steven Lenhart headed in a wayward ball in stoppage time to help league-leading San Jose remain unbeaten at home this season with an improbable 3-3 draw against FC Dallas.
Lenhart's 10th goal of the season came with a minute left in extra time to extend the Quakes' unbeaten streak to six games as they improved to 9-0-5 at their little stadium at Santa Clara University.
San Jose (18-6-7) has scored 12 times in the 87th minute and beyond to either win or tie a match, the most stunning statistic in a season filled with them.
"It's a will," said Alan Gordon, who had his 13th goal of the season and two assists. "It's a will to dig deep and reach where the other team doesn't want to reach."
Lenhart's heroics put a dent into Dallas' attempt to secure the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
With 37 points, Dallas FC is two behind the Vancouver Whitecaps, who played to a draw against Seattle on Saturday night.
The tie gave San Jose (61 points) a three-point lead over Sporting Kansas City in the Supporters' Shield race with three games left in the regular season.
The game appeared lost when Dallas defender Matt Hedges scored with two minutes left in regulation play. Hedges' goal came on a bizarre play when Daniel Hernandez's shot into traffic hit the crossbar. San Jose defender Victor Bernardez couldn't clear the bouncing ball that fell to Hedges for an easy tap in.
The goal came six minutes after Lenhart had tied the score on an uplifting goal off Gordon's nifty layoff.
It took a Jon Busch save on a breakaway in stoppage time to keep the Earthquakes in the game. The overall play Saturday left the perfectionist goalkeeper irritated.
"We can't keep putting ourselves in these holes," he said of the team's propensity for dramatic comebacks. "I don't know how many more times we can go to the well."
Most of San Jose's players and coaches suggest they can do it again — and again.
"It's not an expectation but a belief," said Chris Wondolowski, who failed to score for the first time in three games. "If we don't score, we're going to go down swinging."
The Earthquakes suffered a bad break in the 52nd minute when midfielder Medhi Ballouchy was taken off the field in a stretcher with a left knee injury. He landed awkwardly while trying to kick a ball.
The former Santa Clara star left the locker room on crutches and will have a MRI exam Monday.
Coach Frank Yallop brought on Lenhart to replace Ballouchy to put the Quakes' top three scorers on the field simultaneously.
His team had outscored opponents 8-0 in the previous seven games when Gordon, Lenhart and Wondolowski appeared together.
Midfielder Shea Salinas made his first appearance in six matches after suffering a hamstring muscle strain five weeks ago. But Simon Dawkins (ankle) and Ike Opara (head) were held out to make sure they are healthy with the MLS Cup playoffs opening in five weeks.
Bernardez won't be eligible for the Earthquakes' game Saturday at Colorado after receiving a yellow card for a reckless tackle. Players automatically are suspended for a game after receiving five yellow cards.
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.
Earthquakes (18-6-7) at Colorado (9-18-3), 6 p.m. CSNCA