Sebastian Lletget bundled home the deciding goal off an 82nd-minute corner kick and added an earlier assist, and the LA Galaxy defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 to secure their first California Clasico league win in more than two years on Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Cristian Pavon leveled the match at 2-all from the penalty spot, and Daniel Steres tied it at 1-all in the 33rd minute for LA, which had last won a league encounter in this rivalry on May 25, 2018.
16-year-old Cade Cowell scored his first pro goal in his first start for San Jose in the second half after Vako gave San Jose the lead early. And Quakes rookie Tanner Beason also made his first start, making a couple of exceptional interventions in the goal area to keep the match close.
But Beason was also ruled to have handled the ball inside the area on the sequence that led to Pavon's spot kick. And 'keeper Daniel Vega badly misjudged a corner 10 minutes later to allow Lletget to get the better of Nick Lima on the back post and give the Galaxy the victory.
- 11' - SJ - Vako | WATCH
- 33' - LA - Daniel Steres | WATCH
- 59' - SJ - Cade Cowell | WATCH
- 72' - LA - Cristian Pavon (PK) | WATCH
- 82' - LA - Sebastian Lletget
- THE BIG PICTURE: The combination of an uneven schedule in the Western Conference and last Wednesday's postponed matches meant the Quakes became the final team to begin Phase 1 of the revised MLS regular season schedule, meaning this was the first of six-match, 20-day gauntlet. Meanwhile, the Galaxy have now earned seven points out of 12 since Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez has been out with a calf strain.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It's rare the losing side is the creator of the moment of the match. But Cowell struck his go-ahead match so sweetly, he would probably remember it for the rest of his life even if it wasn't his first as a pro.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Sebastian Lletget now has goals in consecutive league games for the first time since August of 2018. If you're wondering, he has scored three consecutive matches only once, finding the net once each on June 13, 20 and 24 of 2015.
- LA: Wednesday, Sept. 2 at Portland Timbers (10:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in the US and DAZN in Canada)
- SJ: Wednesday, Sept. 2 at LAFC (10:30 pm ET | UniMas, TUDN, MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)