STANFORD, Calif. – The Goonies put it all back together again against the team that started it all.
Shea Salinas and Alan Gordon scored in second-half injury time to give the 10-man San Jose Earthquakes a shocking 3-2 victory against the LA Galaxy at Stanford Stadium on Saturday night.
Salinas hammered home a loose rebound in the 92nd minute and Gordon nodded home an open header at the back post in the 93rd minute as the sellout crowd of 50,028 went bonkers. It was the second stunning comeback San Jose has mounted against the Galaxy at Stanford in as many seasons; the Quakes came from two goals down to beat LA 4-3 on June 30, 2012.
San Jose (5-7-6) improved to 2-1-0 under interim coach Mark Watson and, perhaps more importantly, rekindled memories of last season, when the Quakes had nine goals in second-half stoppage time, eight of which led to a win or draw.
Gordon had scored his first goal of the season in the 68th minute to draw San Jose to within a goal, but the Quakes’ chances looked dire after defender Victor Bernardez saw two yellow cards in the space of eight minutes and was sent off in the 77th minute.
Yet LA (7-7-3) could not make goals from Marcelo Sarvas in the 20th minute and Hector Jimenez in the 65th stand up and thus missed a chance to record just their second winning streak of the season.
Salinas pounced on a free ball after LA goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini was unable to corral a deflected flick header from San Jose rookie Adam Jahn.
Gordon found the game-winner moments later off a chipped cross from just inside LA’s penalty area by San Jose midfielder Sam Cronin.
Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane assisted on both LA goals, but the Galaxy were left to rue their missed chances at putting the game away – especially Jon Busch’s save on Jimenez in the 88th minute.
The game opened in fairly tight fashion until the Galaxy cut through San Jose’s defense with a couple of nifty volleys. Donovan floated a pass across the top of San Jose’s box, which Keane struck on the fly with his left foot. The ball found Sarvas open at 11 yards, where he cashed in with a right-footed volley of his own to the near post for his second goal this season.
Donovan and Keane teamed again to help Jimenez double LA’s advantage. Donovan beat Bernardez to shake himself free just inside San Jose’s offensive third, then fed an overlapping Keane in the left side of the Quakes’ penalty area. With a clot of defenders approaching, Keane fed the ball across the 6-yard box to the far post, where Jimenez slotted home into the open net for goal No. 2 of 2013.
Cudicini had to come up big in the 50th minute, when Chris Wondolowski’s header was not fully cleared, leaving a rebound for Marvin Chavez to hammer from 8 yards. But the shot went right into the body of a prone Cudicini.
Cudicini could not come up with the goods in the dying moments, however, and San Jose had found what the Quakes undoubtedly hope will be a turning point after gaining just 18 points from the first half of their MLS slate.
San Jose are back in action on Wednesday, when they travel to face the Chicago Fire. LA return home to host FC Dallas on Sunday night.