The win officially books the Earthquakes’ ticket to the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, with one game left to play this season. And club legend Chris Wondolowski and current attacking star Cristian Espinoza teamed up to help fire the Quakes to the critical win on the night.
Matias Almeyda went with a familiar starting XI on the night, with Marcos Lopez once again starting at left back.
LAFC drew first blood, after a sleepy opening 20 minutes, with a cross getting tipped by Diego Rossi before being tapped in by Latif Blessing in the 23rd minute.
But the Quakes tied it up in the 28th minute, with Eduard Atuesta tipping the ball into his own net from a San Jose corner kick.
Then the Quakes took the lead in the 37th minute, as Chris Wondolowski hit a redirected one-timer of Cristian Espinoza’s cross that beat LAFC goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer.
The road got a bit tougher, as Jackson Yueill got his second yellow card of the night just after the hour mark and was sent off, following a robust challenge on Jordan Harvey.
But even with a man down, San Jose got an insurance goal in the 72nd minute as Espinoza sliced through LAFC’s defense to score. Shea Salinas had the assist on the tally to break the club’s all-time record.
There were some nerves at the end, as Diego Rossi scored deep in stoppage time for LAFC, but they couldn’t find an equalizer with the final seconds of the game.
It was a fantastic performance for San Jose, as they dominated play throughout the night and fully deserved the win. Even after conceding first, they raised their energy and chipped away until they had the game in hand, even with Yueill’s red card forcing them to focus even more. The Quakes have been playing like a playoff team, and now they’re in the big dance.
The regular season wraps up Sunday with the Earthquakes taking on the Seattle Sounders in Seattle. Although it will be a big game for momentum purposes, the season is not on the line for the Earthquakes, and they’ll be happy with that fact, certainly.
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