LA Galaxy Lose First Leg of Conference Semi-Finals to San Jose Earthquakes 1-0

Victor Decolongon

The LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes played most of the match at a deadlock, but the Quakes managed a stoppage time goal to sneak out of The Home Depot Center with a 1-0 lead in the aggregate series.

The LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes played most of the match at a deadlock, but the Quakes managed a stoppage time goal to sneak out of The Home Depot Center with a 1-0 lead in the aggregate series. It was a Victor Bernardez roller that gave the Quakes the win, under the wall and through Saunders' hands.

The foul call that resulted in the free kick seemed harsh on replay. Marcelo Sarvas was called for fouling Simon Dawkins in the 93' which lead to the free kick. Victor Bernardez took a ten yard run up to the ball, which got Omar Gonzalez to jump, leaving just enough space for his ball to get under the wall. Saunders dove to his left and got hands on it, but it rolled through.

"I thought our team played well tonight," said Bruce Arena. "Obviously, we didn't finish off plays technically in and around the penalty area. It cost us the game. We were in position to get a goal or two tonight for sure. Failed to execute the last pass or shot."

It's a harsh result when looking at possession, the Galaxy made well over 100 more passes than the Quakes and earned 57.4% of the possession per Opta. The problem was the Galaxy didn't covert that possession into shot attempts. It wasn't until Sean Franklin forced a save in the 66 minute that the Galaxy managed a shot on target.

Even with Franklin and Keane getting on the scoresheet with shots on target, it wasn't until Robbie Keane hit the corner of the woodwork in the 86' that a chance felt dangerous for either side. It was like San Jose came out fresh and pressed hard, and when that didn't work they tried to slow the match down. It took the Galaxy way too long to find a way to get in behind their defense.

"A little bit of a fresher team came at us hard," said Bruce Arena. "You saw what they looked like in the second half. They were the ones falling on the floor taking players out with cramps and all. Maybe the pace wasn't to their liking."

The Quakes did have several players go down with cramps needing medical assistance, leading to the five minutes of stoppage time. They used their final sub just before the seventieth minute. The Galaxy only used one sub, taking off David Beckham in the 78' for Edson Buddle.

LA now has the unenviable task of having to at the very least pull even with San Jose on the road. A match like the one the Galaxy played tonight and they'd be in decent shape so long as they finished. However, if San Jose manages to open up a tired team the Galaxy could see their season end on an unfortunate note.

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