The San Jose Earthquakes haven’t given up.
Jackson Yueill’s last-minute goal gives San Jose their first win in the local return to play phase this season, and their first-ever win over LAFC to boot.
Matias Almeyda made a couple changes to his XI for this game, starting JT Marcinkowski in goal and bringing in Chris Wondolowski from the start.
The Earthquakes were playing adequate “bend but don’t break” defense in the first half, cutting out LAFC’s passing lanes and man-marking pretty well to keep their opponent off-balance. Aside from a couple looks from Wondolowski, the attack was mostly nonexistent, but San Jose were keeping the play in front of them and defending pretty well.
Diego Rossi made a great run with the ball shortly before halftime, but Marcinkowski was able to save the Golden Boot leader’s shot to keep LAFC off the board.
My goodness.— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) September 28, 2020
Well done, JT. pic.twitter.com/W8NKUkOBtw
But LAFC found the first goal anyway, in the 45th minute, as Mark-Anthony Kaye latched onto a ball at the edge of the box and hit a one-timer to give the home side the lead.
Potentially bad news just after the hour mark, as Marcos Lopez appeared to suffer an injury and exited the match for Shea Salinas. We’ll have to see if the ailment is serious or not.
Brian Rodriguez scored for LAFC in the 69th minute, but the goal was waved off because he was offside in the build-up, the correct call.
And then the Earthquakes got into the game, as Salinas hit a beautiful dribble and score in the 80th minute to make it 1-1.
The Earthquakes nearly got a winning goal in the 88th minute, but Vako’s shot after a scramble in LAFC’s box forced a big save from Pablo Sisniega to keep the game tied.
But the Goonies magic came alive in the 93rd minute, as the Quakes battled for possession deep in LAFC’s corner, and Yueill turned in the low cross with a nifty finish to give San Jose a long-awaited lead.
It’s a rousing result that has been long overdue for the Quakes, and while I wouldn’t get ready for a winning streak just yet, the result shows the players appear not to have quit on Almeyda and they are capable of getting results still. Now the next test is to string a few wins in the coming games and they could be out of the Western Conference basement before long.
The Earthquakes have almost a week before their next game, Saturday at home against the LA Galaxy. Having a few days to rest and train between games should offer a boost for San Jose, and they generally step up for California Clasicos. With the Galaxy reeling lately, hope springs eternal, right? We’ll see.
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