CARSON, Calif. – Alan Gordon scored in second-half stoppage time as the San Jose Earthquakes scored three unanswered goals to beat the LA Galaxy 3-2 at The Home Depot Center on Wednesday.
The former Galaxy player headed in the match-winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time for the decisive goal.
Hector Jimenez and Mike Magee had given the Galaxy a 2-0 lead through 73 minutes, but the Quakes came back nonetheless. Jimenez picked up a red card on the hour and a 10-man LA squad squandered its lead.
Though it was the latest edition of the California Clasico, the rivalry match was missing some of its luster. The Galaxy were without Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane while San Jose were missing Chris Wondolowski, all of whom are on international duty.
The Galaxy came out inspired and were rewarded with an early goal. Barely three minutes in, Juninho slipped a ball into the penalty area for Chad Barrett. The LA forward ran onto the ball and hit sent a backheel to a charging Jimenez. The Bell Gardens, Calif., native did not squander the opportunity, beating San Jose’s Jon Busch with a shot to the far post.
Feeding off their early surge, the Galaxy maintained the pressure on San Jose as the Quakes tried to weather the storm and did well to not surrender many more opportunities. Still, Juninho nearly doubled the hosts’ lead late in the first half with a 30-yard shot that Busch acrobatically pushed over the crossbar.
The match changed in favor of the Earthquakes on the hour. Jimenez was sent off after a studs-up tackle on Steven Beitashour as referee Jair Marrufo did not hesitate to show Jimenez his first red MLS card. The ejection meant Galaxy had to make do with just 10 men for the second consecutive match – David Júnior Lopes saw red against Chivas USA here on Saturday.
In the 73rd minute, though, the Galaxy used San Jose’s eagerness against them. Beckham started off an LA counterattack just behind the centerline. He floated a ball to Magee on the left side. Magee faked a pass to Barrett, shook himself free and buried the ball into the roof of the goal to give the Galaxy a 2-0 lead.
However, San Jose came right back down and cut the lead in half. Marvin Chávez whipped a corner kick to the front of the goal and Lenhart buried a diving header into the back of the goal to make it a 2-1 match with 14 minutes remaining.
San Jose eventually found the equalizer with eight minutes remaining. Jason Hernandez found himself unmarked with the ball on the corner of the penalty area. Hernandez unloaded a shot and Beckham ran into the path of the shot and got a piece of it with his arm. Beckham saw yellow while the Quakes were awarded a spot kick. Khari Stephenson easily converted the attempt to pull the visitors level.
In stoppage time, though, San Jose had one last gasp left. Gordon took advantage of a bouncing ball and looped a header over Brian Perk’s head as the Earthquakes escaped with a stunning victory.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Marvin Chávez||Transformed the match when he came on. Mercilessly exploited the space afforded by San Jose's man advantage and assisted on Lenhart's goal.|
|2||Alan Gordon||It's gotten to the point where you'd be surprised if he didn't score late. Another good substitute cameo capped off by a late strike to win it.|
|3||David Beckham||Should have no complaints about the penalty awarded against him, but his passing was everything we've come to expect from the Englishman and assisted on Magee's goal.|