The San Jose Earthquakes didn’t need any late drama this time. But they poured it on in the final 10 minutes anyway.
In the latest installment of the California Clasico — a series that tends to bring out crazy last-minute game-winners — the Earthquakes led almost the entire way in a convincing 3-0 victory over the LA Galaxy in front of 50,850 at Stanford Stadium.
Vako, fresh off a brace in San Jose’s win over Houston three days earlier, continued his hot form with an 11th-minute goal following a couple of sharp passes originating from a cleverly designed free kick.
Shea Salinas, who delivered a stoppage-time winner in the Clasico two years ago, scored in the 82nd minute before Tommy Thompson applied the finishing touches with a goal three minutes later to ensure the Quakes would remain unbeaten in their last six and improve to 6W-1L-4D in their last 11 matches.
Earlier in the Week 17 match, Zlatan Ibrahimovic tried to find the equalizer but Judson broke up a pass to deny the Galaxy superstar a scoring chance in the 58th minute, shortly before Quakes goalkeeper Daniel Vega made a diving save on a bending Ibrahimovic shot en route to his second straight shutout.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Aside from beating a longstanding rival, the win was an important one for the surging Quakes, who continue to climb up the Western Conference table after moving into playoff position earlier this week. One of the teams they’re chasing are the Galaxy, who had been in good form with three straight road wins before the Week 17 setback.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Vako’s goal set the tone for the entire night and got the record crowd of more than 50,000 on its feet early.
MAN OF THE MATCH: It’s got to be Vako, who scored six straight goals for the Quakes (including Open Cup play), before then adding an assist on Salinas’s strike for good measure.