The California Clasico was a one-way affair, with the Earthquakes absolutely controlling the tempo and run of play throughout, and the Galaxy largely lifeless on the night. The win will put some air under San Jose’s wings as they look to solidify their playoff credentials this season.
Tommy Thompson tested LA goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann, making his first appearance in MLS, in the 12th minute, with a sharp shot from the edge of the box that forced a save from the netminder.
San Jose controlled the run of play in the first half, and were rewarded in the 44th minute, with Nick Lima following up on Andy Rios’ cutback cross to slam it home and give the Quakes the 1-0 edge.
Rios then got a goal himself in the 52nd minute, when he tapped in Carlos Fierro’s medium height cross to give San Jose the 2-0 lead.
Then San Jose iced the result in the 76th minute courtesy of Thompson, who would not be denied on the night. His first attempt forced Klinsmann well off his line and he made the save, but TomThom latched onto the rebound, got around the GK and a defender, and blasted it in from a very tight angle.
Lima added his second goal of the game just before the final kick to make it a rout.
I think the Galaxy are bad right now, frankly, but take nothing away from the Earthquakes’ performance. They dictated the game, they held onto the ball, they took the shots, they scored when they needed to, and the Galaxy were second-best time and again. With Rios in a rich vein of form and the fullbacks now jumping in the fray to score, this team really does seem like one that can make the playoffs this season, although time will tell.
San Jose’s next game will be Sunday against the Seattle Sounders at Earthquakes Stadium. The Sounders have been the toast of the Western Conference, so this will be another litmus test for the Earthquakes, who of course lost 7-1 last time these players played in San Jose. Will it be another bloodbath or have the Quakes put that firmly in the rearview mirror? Sunday’s match should be a good one.
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