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Gritty draw: San Jose Earthquakes 0, LA Galaxy 0

Much better performance as Quakes hold Galaxy at bay.

MLS: LA Galaxy at San Jose Earthquakes Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Earthquakes bounced back from their record loss midweek to draw the LA Galaxy in a California Clasico encounter, 0-0 Sunday night at Earthquakes Stadium.

Normally, a scoreless draw at home against the big rival would be somewhat disappointing, but coming off a brutal 7-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders Thursday, and given the Galaxy had won their last four games, the draw was a fair and solid result on the night for the Earthquakes given the circumstances.

Matias Almeyda made some big changes from Thursday’s disaster against the Seattle Sounders, starting something closer to a “first-choice” XI and bringing both Tommy Thompson and Florian Jungwirth higher up the field than usual.

Guram Kashia had a couple great looks in the 18th minute, off a San Jose free kick. First, Kashia had a shot that was blocked by LA goalkeeper David Bingham, then after the ball came back out, Kashia’s second attempt in quick succession was hit with power but just wide of the target.

The rest of the first half was fairly quiet, with neither team really testing the goalkeepers much and the game mostly played in the middle third. Given the respective forms coming into the game, getting to halftime 0-0 was rather successful for San Jose as they aimed to regroup for the second 45.

It looked like the Galaxy would open the scoring in the 75th minute, but Sebastian Lletget’s effort off a short corner kick routine was saved by Daniel Vega, keeping the game scoreless.

Substitute Andy Rios had a chance in the 79th minute, but his cross/shot off fellow sub Cade Cowell’s feed rolled right through the six-yard box and harmlessly away. 10 minutes later, Rios got the ball in the back of the net, but it was waived off for offside.

Overall, both teams were not razor-sharp with their attack, defense leading the way and with San Jose’s in particular stepping up to neutralize the likes of Lletget, Cristian Pavon and Chicharito. With San Jose starting to fall away in the Western Conference standings, a draw won’t do much for their playoff hopes, but a rebound performance that shows there is fight left in the team this season.

San Jose are scheduled to be back in action Wednesday, as they’ll host the Portland Timbers. The Quakes have beaten the Timbers under Almeyda, and with a heartening performance here against the Galaxy, the season is not yet lost for this San Jose side.

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