Well, that sucked.
The San Jose Earthquakes thoroughly outplayed the LA Galaxy Saturday, dominating the run of play for about 80 minutes in the latest edition of this California rivalry and deservedly earning a 2-1 win at Earthquakes Stadium. This is the fourth straight loss for LA.
The Galaxy got off to a fast start. They took advantage of San Jose miscues in the midfield to change ends quickly. Emiliano Insúa and Jonathan dos Santos ran a nice give-and-go early down the left flank, but Dos Santos was just a step late to receive the ball in the box.
Joe Corona got the Galaxy going on the break after another turnover in the fourth minute. Corona played it to Sebastian Lletget, who found a streaking Cristian Pavón. Pavón sent a low cross to Chicharito in the box. Chicharito’s shot bounced off the right crossbar, but Lletget finished the play to pick up the rebound for the first goal of the evening.
Unfortunately, almost immediately after the Galaxy took the lead, their quality of play completely fell apart. LA sat back on defense, allowing the Quakes to get comfortable and bomb away. They owned 62% of the possession and outshot the Galaxy 9-4.
San Jose got their first good chance of the game in the 12th minute, when Chris Wondolowski created a penalty by slamming the ball into the arm of Nicholas DePuy on the edge of the box. It looked like the ball played the hand, but VAR confirmed the call on the field. Wondolowski’s penalty was uninspiring. It didn’t have enough pace and David Bingham was able to the make the save. The referees ruled that Bingham was off his line, but thankfully VAR noted that Bingham’s right foot was in place.
From there, the Earthquakes kept piling on the chances while the Galaxy had no flow. Cristian Espinoza earned the first San Jose corner in the 24th minute, and LA’s problems clearing the ball were apparent, if not yet costly, as Bingham saved a Wondolowski header.
Bingham made his major mistake of the night in the 32nd minute, leaving his box and failing to corral the ball, allowing an unmarked Florian Jungwirth header that mercifully went wide.
The Galaxy had used all their luck of to this point, though, and the Earthquakes scored on their next attack, as Marcos Lopez was left unmarked in the box thanks to poor coverage from Daniel Steres and Rolf Feltscher. 42 minutes in, the game was tied as one.
The second half of the game was increasingly sloppy. The Galaxy kept losing their footing thanks to the poor field conditions, but they couldn’t connect on any passes. They kept tried to clear the ball on long kicks instead of building up from the back line, and that resulted in more and more turnovers. It seemed like the team didn’t have any real chances in the second session, and the lone bright spot was the debut of Yony Gonzalez late in the game.
LA likely would have been satisfied escaping with a draw and no injuries, but Feltscher made a disastrous play on a cross into the box in the 79th minute. He jumped to head the ball away, but he missed, and fell into Shea Salinas, conceding the Galaxy’s second penalty of the game. Andy Rios would not miss this one.
The Galaxy finally found some verve being down 2-1, but there was no plan of attack, and their increased energy wasn’t enough to earn an equalizer. LA was outclassed, and rightfully leaves San Jose with a defeat.