A second-half thriller between the LA Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes saw the Earthquakes steal all three points in a 2-1 victory at Dignity Health Sports Park Friday evening.
In the first of 10 Heineken Rivalry Week matches over a 10-day-span, the California Clasico had it all. It was a multi-goal second half thriller in Los Angeles between two Western Conference sides in playoff spot contention, featuring multiple Video Reviews, five yellow cards, stunning goalkeeping and two of the strangest goals MLS has seen all season.
Three points on the road for the Earthquakes gave them their third win in their past six games while also moving to ten-straight matches unbeaten. For the Galaxy, it's two straight losses at home within a four-day-span, which could push them out of the top three in the western Conference by the end of the weekend.
First half heroics from Jonathan Bond stole the show early on, with the Galaxy goalkeeper making a pair of immaculate saves to deny Ebobisse right before the halftime whistle to keep things scoreless. Bond's heroics continued over into the second half, making another stunning double-save right as the half began.
An opening goal from Jeremy Ebobisse in the second half gave the Earthquakes the confidence and drive they needed to maintain control of the tempo of the match, with a second goal coming their way with 19 minutes to spare. Galaxy defender Niko Hamalainen was at fault for an own goal after Javier Lopez danced around in the box, sending the ball across the net but a wicked deflection off the Finnish international's calf ended up in his own net.
The Galaxy's lone goal may have been the strangest goal we have seen in MLS this season, however, after Victor Vazquez scored an Olimpico straight from the corner flag in the 65th minute to level things at 1-1. It was unusual in the way that it barely left the ground and instead curled lowly into the net, past two Earthquakes players and off of goalkeeper James Marcinkowski.
All three goals came after the halftime whistle, and despite having home-field-advantage, the Galaxy fell victim to the attacking press of the Earthquakes over the final 45 minutes with the away side winning this year's edition of the Heineken Rivalry Week Cali Clasico.