Match Recap: LA Galaxy clinch playoff berth with draw in California Clasico
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy clinched a playoff berth but missed an opportunity to take command in the Western Conference, and the San Jose Earthquakes watched their postseason hopes disappear in all but the mathematical sense as the season's final California Clasico finished 0-0 at the StubHub Center.
Jaime Penedo kept LA level through the first half, making diving stops on a Steven Lenhart header from a corner kick in the 27th minute and on a Chris Wondolowski header after Lenhart beat Kofi Opare on the right in the 40th.
Omar Gonzalez got in the way of Shea Salinas' shot off the rebound after the latter attempt, and San Jose nearly scored in the 15th minute, too, when Clarence Goodson's diving header off a free kick rolled just past the right post.
The Galaxy, who have struggled to penetrate when their counterattack has been stifled, had more of the game in the first half but created few legitimate chances. Robbie Keane fired at Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch in 19th minute and Landon Donovan chipped over the goal in the 43rd on the best opportunities.
Openings for both teams seemed to appear more often in the second half. Gyasi Zardes connected up the left channel to Donovan, whose cross toward an open Keane at the far post was knocked away by Goodson just six minutes into the stanza.
San Jose had two chances soon after, but Salinas couldn't get a piece of a Lenhart shot that was well off target, and Opare and Penedo teamed to deny Lenhart at the left post from a Salinas feed.
Keane had another chance in the 81st minute, but he let a feed from Zardes roll by and away from danger, and Busch dived to knock aside a Marcelo Sarvas shot in the 83rd after Rogers' cross ricocheted to him, the Galaxy's best chance of the night.
The Quakes poured it on at the end, launching long balls into the box in an attempt to preserve their playoff hopes another week, but the Galaxy back line – with some help from Penedo – kept the shut out.
The Galaxy (15-11-7) were eliminated from the Supporters' Shield race but remain third in the West, two points behind Portland and one in back of Real Salt Lake with only next weekend's regular-season finale at Seattle to play.
The Quakes (13-11-9) extended their unbeaten streak to six games and are sixth in the West, three points behind Seattle and Colorado, but would need a miracle next week. Because of the first tiebreaker (wins) they can’t catch Seattle, so their only playoff hope is to beat FC Dallas in San Jose while scoring at least 12 goals coupled with a Colorado defeat of at least six in Vancouver.