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Wondolowski winner caps wild Earthquake victory in California Clasico

WondoDownsLA (Getty)

A week after coming back from a two-goal deficit to post a vital victory against Real Salt Lake, the LA Galaxy found themselves on the wrong end of such a comeback, with the San Jose Earthquakes finding yet another way to pull off a late-game result.

The Galaxy jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first-half of Saturday night's California Clasico, but San Jose responded immediately to forge a comeback. Victor Bernardez made it 3-2 just two minutes after the Galaxy's third goal, then Sam Cronin equalized just two minutes into the second half to set up Chris Wondolowski's cheeky back-heel winner in the 61st minute to give the Earthquakes the 4-3 victory in front of a raucous crowd at Stanford Stadium.

The Earthquakes pushed their lead atop the Western Conference to four points with the victory, their latest comeback triumph, while the Galaxy slipped back into sixth place with the loss.

David Beckham had a bittersweet night for the Galaxy, scoring on a beautiful free kick in the first half to negate Steven Lenhart's opening goal, but also showing his nasty side when he struck Cronin with a ball as Cronin lay in the Galaxy penalty area recovering from a knock to the head. The incident cost Beckham a yellow card that will earn him a one-match suspension, a suspension that could be extended by the MLS Disciplinary Committee.

Here are the match highlights:

What did you think of the match? Impressed with the Earthquakes ability to battle back late in matches? Think there is anyone in MLS playing better than Chris Wondolowski these days? See the Galaxy rebounding from this loss or do you think this leads to another slump?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. That’s a fair point, and I agree. That being said, tons of players in the MLS fake injuries a lot. I don’t like it at all, but I said “who wouldn’t” because in any soccer game I watch, there are always floppers and divers.

    Also, I think Cronin had the right to sit on the ground for 20 seconds after getting hit in the back of the head. And again, it looked like he was about to get up right as the ball came in.

  2. “He took longer than he needed (who wouldn’t)…”

    Answer: any respectable, genuine human being. If you can’t win the game the right way, why play at all? It’s just a game at the end of the day, so play it right.

  3. Marvin Chavez may have feigned injury on more than one occasion. He’s Central American…that’s kind of their thing. Cronin was just being a straight up b*&ch though. As soon as Beckham pinged the ball off of Cronin’s legs, he got up and totally forgot about his “injury”.

  4. Beckham’s aim was only 50/50. His first shot at Cornin missed badly and hit the wood work. So he grabbed another ball and shot again. He should get 2x the fine because he put so much effort into it.

  5. Cronin got kicked in the back of the head… He was a little dazed. He took longer than he needed (who wouldn’t) but it did look like he was getting up when the ball came in. Also, I think its worth noting that was Beckham’s 2nd attempt to hit them, and that rafa marquez got a red card for throwing a ball at someone last year.

  6. That’s pretty good aim. Someone should have brought over a ball bag so we could see how many in a row he could connect on.

  7. Um…I’m a DC United fan. How does that make me biased in this instance? I just hate guys who roll around on the ground like they go clobbered by an oil tanker in an attempt to waste time or get a call they don’t deserve. And that’s EXACTLY what Cronin was doing.

  8. No, it was Corrales who got the first half yellow.

    Overall, I thought the officiating was horrendous. LA were stiffed for not one but two penalties for handballs in the box. Way too much time was wasted for injuries, fake or not, with the obvious exception of Busch, who really should have been taken out immediately (not a safe fixture for goals, this one, it seems). Several of the six yellow cards were silly too, in my opinion.

  9. Then they can play those last few games at Buckshaw. It seems like a poor choice to only have one game at Stanford

  10. Because the football team plays there! Stanford will not allow all those people coming on campus when school is in.

    Santa Clara only competes with the soccer team


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