Earthquakes win 3-2 thriller over Galaxy in California Classico

Earthquakes win 3-2 thriller over Galaxy in California Classico

Courtesy of Reuters

CARSON, Calif — Call it torture, call it whatever you want, the San Jose Earthquakes exorcised their demons on the road.

San Jose scored three goals in the first half for the first time this season and then held on by the skin of their teeth to defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 and earned their first win on the road in the 94th installment of the California Classico on Wednesday evening at Dignity Health Park.

San Jose has beat Los Angeles in back-to-back Classicos in LA for the first time ever. They have points in four of their last five matches and sit five points out of seventh place, which the Galaxy presently occupy. Los Angeles has lost back-to-back matches and have conceded three goals in consecutive games.

San Jose (5-7-7-22 points) featured the return of midfielder Jamiro Monteiro back into the starting lineup for interim head coach Alex Covelo.

“It’s truly special (to win at the California Classico), I was talking to Chris Leitch before the game today that the last we were here all together was in 2007,” Covelo said.

Los Angeles (8-8-3-27 points) was without their leading goal scorer Chicharito (seven) and Marky Delgado due to injury.

The Earthquakes drew first blood early in the game when Julián Araujo tripped up Benji Kikanovic inside the box in the 12th minute drawing a penalty kick. Cristian Espinoza cashed in the PK a minute later when he beat Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond with a right footed shot into the lower right corner for his fifth goal of the season.

San Jose doubled its lead a minute later. Taking advantage of a bad back pass by Los Angeles in their own zone, Monteiro found Jeremy Ebobisse on the left wing. The native of Paris, France blasted a right footed shot to the same lower right corner for his team leading 11th goal of the season in the 14th minute.

Ebobisse is tied for second in the MLS with three other players with 11 goals.

The ‘Quakes scored their third unanswered goal of the half in the 40th minute. A nice give and go between Marcos Lopez and Kikanovic resulted in Lopez with a brilliant deke out on Bond and his left footed shot glided down the goal line inside the right post for his first goal of the season.

Los Angeles best scoring chance came in the first 45 minutes came at the 23rd minute mark. Samuel Grandsir’s point-blank shot from the left of the net was knocked away by ‘Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski.

The Galaxy opened the second half by cutting into the ‘Quakes lead. Kévin Cabral set up Dejan Joveljic, who roofed a shot top shelf beyond the reach of Marcinkowski for his seventh goal of the season in the 48th minute.

“The numbers speak for themselves, we are still giving up too many goals. We need to work on that and clean that up,” said Covelo.

Los Angeles controlled the play in the second half as San Jose sat back and played a prevent style of play that almost cost them the three points.

Joveljic made for an intense finish when he scored his second goal of the match late in the second half. Douglas Costa found Joveljic just outside the box. Joveljic faked out two different ‘Quake defenders before depositing the ball into the upper left corner of the net for his brace in the 88th minute.

Joveljic, who took over the team lead with his eighth goal of the season, has scored seven goals in his last six matches after only scoring three in his first 25.

Marcinkowski finished the match stopping eight of the 10 shots he faced, as he was the best player for San Jose in the second half, to earn his fifth win of the season. Bond made one save on four shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished the match with eight corner kicks. Los Angeles had 11.

Los Angeles has scored 11 goals in the final 15 minutes of a match this season. They are second in MLS in that category.

San Jose has won five of its last eight visits to the Galaxy in MLS play (5-3-0) after winning only five of its first 30 regular season visits. The Earthquakes won, 2-1, at Dignity Health Sports Park in their last visit last August.

It was the sixth time this season LA has conceded three goals in a match, losing all six. The Galaxy have a record of 8-2-3 in the 13 matches in which they’ve held opponents under three goals.

With his 11th goal of the season, Ebobisse now has eight goals in eight career MLS starts against Los Angeles. He’s failed to score only once in his eight MLS starts against LA.

UP NEXT: San Jose returns home to host the Houston Dynamo on Sunday 7/17 at 6:30pm at Pay Pal Park.

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