Recap: San Jose Earthquakes  2, LAFC 1

The San Jose Earthquakes defeated LAFC 2-1 thanks to first-half goals from Nathan and Javier "Chofis" Lopez in Sunday's Western Conference clash at PayPal Park.

The Earthquakes earned their first victory at home since May 1 to move up to 10th in the West and come within two points of jumping over the playoff line. LAFC's unfortunate run of form continues, with Bob Bradley's side winless in their past five matches and struggling to find goals of their own.

The hosts found the back of the net early after defender Nathan snuck a touch onto a Cristian Espinoza in-swinging free-kick in the 11th minute. It appeared that the goal was going to go to Espinoza, but upon Video Review, Nathan got the last touch, netting his second goal of the season.

The home side's dominant attacking start continued when Espinoza earned his second assist of the game. The Argentine winger found Lopez atop the six-yard box and the forward tapped home into the back of the net.

San Jose made an unexpected substitution in the 37th minute when Luciano Abecasis was replaced by newly-acquired striker Jeremy Ebobisse. Ebobisse made his club debut, with the former Portland Timbers forward getting a standing ovation as he entered the pitch.

LAFC weren't going away quietly, though. A Carlos Vela set piece threatened the Quakes' box and when Tristan Blackmon missed his attempted header, Jackson Yueill inadvertently headed the ball into his own net, giving LAFC a path back into the contest.

A slow start to the second half was punctured in the 65th minute when LAFC midfielder Latif Blessing danced around the box and launched a shot on target, but Quakes' goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski came up big, denying Blessing from close range.

Despite an action-packed first half that produced three goals, each team struggled to find opportunities in the second half, even with a plethora of attacking substitutions coming off the bench.


  • 11' - SJ - Nathan | WATCH
  • 28' - SJ - Javier Lopez | WATCH
  • 40' - LAFC - Jackson Yueill (OG) | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: For LAFC, this is a disappointing road result and their surprising run of form continues. They're now winless in their last five matches and are barely holding onto a Western Conference playoff spot. For San Jose, this is a welcomed result. Things are looking up for Almeyda's crew, who have added a big-money addition in Jeremy Ebobisse and are finding results at home once again. San Jose are unbeaten in their last seven matches.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: This JT Marcinkowski save in the 65th minute on Latif Blessing. If the homegrown goalkeeper doesn't come up big, the game is level and who knows what happens then.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Cristian Espinoza. The winger assisted on both of San Jose's first-half goals and played a crucial role in any attacking threat from the hosts.