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Earthquakes halt red-hot Galaxy for second straight win

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Photo by Robert Stanton / USA Today Sports Images

By ADAM TROXTELL

Juninho may have put the Los Angeles Galaxy ahead with a stunner, but it was the San Jose Earthquakes’ response that mattered most on Saturday.

The Earthquakes halted a red-hot Galaxy attack in a 3-1 win against their long-time rivals. Clarence Goodson ultimately decided the match — held at Stanford Stadium for the special occasion — with a headed goal from a Matias Perez Garcia corner kick.

It was Perez Garcia’s second assist of the night after he set up Chris Wondolowski for the equalizer, canceling out Juninho’s long-range effort in the 17th minute. Substitute Cordell Cato sealed the win for the Earthquakes by placing a low shot inside the far right post in the 72nd minute.

Halftime adjustments made the biggest difference, however, with the Earthquakes clamping down on the Galaxy’s front pair of Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Keane. The visitors rarely tested the Earthquakes’ goal in the second-half, allowing the San Jose attack to go to work at the other end for a second-straight victory.

It was the first loss for the Galaxy, who currently sit third in the Western Conference, in four league outings. The Earthquakes pushed up to sixth place with the victory.

Juninho opened the scoring with a moment that has become all too common over the years. A blocked clearance rolled into a nice position for the on-rushing midfielder, who unleashed a 25-yard strike into the lower right corner of the net. As good as the strike was, David Bingham appeared to get a late jump on the shot that put the Galaxy up 1-0.

The Earthquakes’ goalkeeper was bright in other spots, twice saving free kicks from Stefan Ishizaki. Bingham also held firm in first-half stoppage time, when Sebastian Lletget connected with Ishizaki’s corner kick in the middle of the box. His deflection toward goal was routinely stopped.

Jaime Penedo also had a big first half in the Galaxy goal, and it started early. In just the second minute, Baggio Husidic’s missed clearance gave Wondolowski a point-blank shot. It deflected off of Penedo’s right arm, keeping the Earthquakes from an early advantage.

He later put versatility on display, using his feet to swipe the ball away from Shea Salinas who had been played in behind with a well-timed long ball.

There was nothing Penedo could do about the equalizer, though. Wondolowski started the move by finding Perez Garcia running down the right. His return cross inside the box went into the path of a sprinting Wondolowski for a hard, one-time finish into the right corner in the 28th minute. It was the San Jose front-man’s ninth goal of the season.

Perez Garcia wasn’t done. His corner in the 53rd minute found Clarence Goodson at the near post for a well-placed header and the lead.

After consistently making things uncomfortable for the defense in the first half, the Galaxy attack, which scored 10 goals in the previous two games, went missing in the second. The room Zardes, Keane and Ishizaki found in the opening 45 minutes wasn’t there anymore, and Bingham had little to do despite the Galaxy holding the bulk of possession.

This allowed the Earthquakes to bide their time, and they found room for a third goal in the 72nd minute. Salinas cut inside from the left before finding Cato in space. The substitute took a touch before firing a low, left-footed strike inside the far post.

The teams will meet again on Wednesday in U.S. Open Cup action. After that, the Earthquakes head up the coast to face the Portland Timbers next Sunday, while the Galaxy host Toronto FC on Saturday.

Comments

  1. Was there a Galaxy supporters section at the game? I didn’t see a single LA uniform in the stands. It’s a pretty poor rivalry if the LA fans can’t make a 5-hour drive to support their team.

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  2. What’s weird is that these two teams play again on Wednesday, this time at Avaya for US Open Cup. Hard to imagine it’ll be the same result.

    Really like that MPG. Can’t remember Quakes ever having a true #10, not since Landon.

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    • Who knows what will happen on Wednesday night? Its another road match for LA and I doubt that Gonzalez will play.

      Donovan was a forward with SJ. MPG is a midfield who acts as a floating playmaker, while Wondo runs the channels. Its an interesting 4-1-4-1 because all but the anchor midfielder (Alashe) seem for fly forward at once.

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      • was at the game as a Galaxy fan and applauded with all when Garcia was subbed off. put on a great show. can’t say the same for the Galaxy who looked tired but no excuses man, Earthquakes deserved it, took away time and space hard in the second half and reaped the midfield rewards with the turnovers and goals

        the atmosphere for the game was surreal with a flashback inducing sunset above the stadium and the fans that gather for this rivalry to yuck it up. fun place to see a game Stanford Stadium whatever the sport

  3. It really looked like LA took the game too lightly. They were also visibly tired in the second half and especially in the final 20 minutes where they had no ideas. Plus they’re crap on the road.

    This was the best that San Jose has played in years. I take back what I said about them playing unattractive soccer because last night they were superb. Natural grass makes the game SO much better, especially in comparison to Seattle worn out rug. That said SJ always plays well in front of the big crowd at Stanford. I wonder if they’ll be able to keep it going?

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