CARSON Calif. – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano’s Three Points to the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday…
LATE BERNARDEZ GOAL DOOMS GALAXY
As Sunday’s match appeared set for a scoreless draw, San Jose defender Victor Bernárdez tallied a goal in the third minute of stoppage time off a free kick.
The play started due a questionable foul on Simon Dawkins by Marcelo Sarvas a minute earlier, setting up a free kick from more than 30 yards for the Honduran defender. Bernárdez powered his shot under the wall, trickling off Omar Gonzalez and rolling under Josh Saunders, who made the initial stop, only to see the ball squeeze underneath him for the game-winner.
Ahead of the final leg on Wednesday, the Galaxy must tighten up on set pieces as the last four goals that LA have conceded to the Earthquakes have come off set piece opportunities.
SAN JOSE’S DEFENSE HOLDS GALAXY SCORELESS
Despite the result, it was the Galaxy, who controlled most of the issue throughout the match, dominating in possession, but unable to find the back of the net.
Both teams approached the match with an organized defensive shape that proved hard for either club to break down. But it was the Galaxy who had the better of the chances—despite not registering their first shot on goal until the 66th minute –and the possession on the night, coming close several times to breaking through an organized San Jose back four led by center backs Victor Bernárdez and Jason Hernandez.
Perhaps the finest chance came in the 85th minute when a combination play by Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane at the top of the 18 led to a Keane shot that beat goalkeeper Jon Busch before bouncing off the crossbar.
SPARKS EXPECTED AT BUCK SHAW STADIUM SECOND LEG
After a dramatic ending to the first leg, the stage is set for high drama at Buck Shaw Stadium on Wednesday.
The LA Galaxy got their lone result of the year against San Jose at Buck Shaw Stadium in October when the clubs played to a 2-2 draw. After leading in chances on the night by a 12-8 margin, the Galaxy will head into Buck Shaw with plenty of confidence. However, Bruce Arena’s squad must be able to finish those opportunities to knock off the Earthquakes.
The match promises to be a physical affair as the Galaxy must score at least once in order to have a chance to advance to the Western Conference Championship.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com