CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders enjoyed yet another strong game on Sunday making a pair of saves against the San Jose Earthquakes, but an unlucky bounce proved decisive in Sunday's Western Conference Semifinal first leg.
The play began with a questionable foul on Simon Dawkins by midfielder Marcelo Sarvas in the second minute of stoppage time, setting up a free kick chance from more than 30 yards for Victor Bernárdez. The Honduran defender fired his shot under the wall, trickling off Omar Gonzalez and rolling under Saunders, who made the initial stop, only to see the ball squeeze underneath him to give San Jose a 1-0 victory at The Home Depot Center.Below are Saunders thoughts on the match and the goal.
Below Saunders discusses the play and Wednesday's second leg at Buck Shaw Stadium...
(On what he saw on the shot…)
SAUNDERS: “Basically, you’re trying to see through the wall. The ball goes through the wall, deflects, takes a weird spin, and you’re trying to react based on what’s happening in front of you. My play was not acceptable. I'll take the blame for covering the goal, and unfortunately that’s what happened.”
(On whether he did not see the shot…)
SAUNDERS: “It’s not a surprise. You know he’s going to hit it with pace. I mean he hits the ball very well -- he did it earlier in the game. And yeah, it’s just one of those things. It deflects, goes through the all and you’re just trying to react based on what you see.”
(On the result being tough to handle…)
SAUNDERS: “It’s tough, but we have another game, and you’ve got to bounce back from it. It shows true character if you can come back and win this game, especially for myself, to put a good performance on the field.”
(On San Jose’s comebacks…)
SAUNDERS: “They have a will to win and we have to turn around and do that ourselves.”
(On LA having confidence that they can get a result at Buck Shaw…)
SAUNDERS: “Absolutely. We have all the confidence in the world as a team.”
(On whether he stopped the ball and then landed on it…)
SAUNDERS: Yeah, it just kind of caught ... like I said, took a weird spin, got caught underneath me, and it was behind me before I knew it.
(On whether Saunders saw the foul…)
SAUNDERS: “No I didn’t. Ref blew the whistle and you got to take what he sees as a part of the game. And he blew the foul.”