The San Jose Earthquakes once again went down a goal to a team from LA, but once again they fought back to post a 2-1 win, this time over the LA Galaxy in the California Clasico at Earthquakes Stadium Saturday.
It was the second win in a row for San Jose, after a brutal winless run previously. They may not have cured all that ails them, but it is abundantly clear this team has not given up on the season and they continue to fight for results.
Matias Almeyda went with the group that started against LAFC last week, to see if they could build some run after a rousing win last week.
The game got off to a great start for LA, with a counterattack leading to the opening goal. Cristian Pavon sent a ball to Chicharito, who hit a one-timer that bounced off the post. Unfortunately for the Quakes, Sebastian Lletget cleaned up the rebound to beat JT Marcinkowski to make it 1-0.
But San Jose got a lifeline several minutes later, as Chris Wondolowski drew a handball penalty on Galaxy defender Nick DePuy. But Wondo’s penalty was saved by his former teammate, David Bingham, and while the referee initially ordered a retake, a VAR check showed Bingham was probably right on the line and the chance was ultimately wasted.
But the Quakes found their equalizer in the 42nd minute, as Marcos Lopez opened his MLS account with a beautiful strike inside the far post. What a moment to get that first goal.
The teams entered halftime tied 1-1, with it all to play for in the second 45.
A scuffle just before the hour mark between the clubs led to another VAR check, but while Joe Corona smacked Nick Lima in the head to kick off the scuffle, the Galaxy midfielder only got a yellow card, and all in all it seemed fair considering nobody on either team did anything truly dangerous.
The field was worse than normal on the night, and it seemed to contribute to a possible injury for Judson, who requested to exit the game in the final 20 minutes, although he continued on until a sub was ready. Luis Felipe came off the bench to take over for Judson.
The Quakes were controlling play when substitute Shea Salinas earned another penalty for San Jose, in the 81st minute, with Andy Rios stepping up to score the spot kick and give San Jose the 2-1 lead.
I have to say, I think the Earthquakes benefitted from the Galaxy taking the early lead and then sitting back for the rest of the match. San Jose were able to control possession and put up volume shots, something that tends to correlate to success for them. And even with Wondo missing the first penalty, the Earthquakes didn’t give up and were rewarded for their patience and competent play in defense. Have they turned the corner? Possibly.
San Jose begin the next spate of fixture congestion Wednesday, when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps. These teams played to a memorable 4-3 win for the Earthquakes in the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, and will hope they can make it 2-for-2 this season against the Canadian opposition, albeit maybe not in such dramatic circumstances.
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