Galaxy rocked by Quakes in stoppage time 3-2
PALO ALTO, CA (BDCi) – – In the last couple seasons, the L.A. Galaxy have had tendencies to break down in the last 10 minutes of games and snatch defeat out of the hands of victory. In Saturday night’s “California Clasico” showdown with San Jose, they took this tendency to new heights, allowing 2 goals in stoppage time to an undermanned Earthquake squad and losing 3-2 in front of a frenzied crowd at Stanford Stadium.
Two Robbie Keane-assisted goals in the 20th and 65th minutes to Brazilian Marcelo Sarvas and Hector Jimenez respectively did not inspire the defense and goalkeeping to keep that 2-0 advantage after that point.
Perennial Galaxy-killer Alan Gordon chipped away at the lead with a goal in the 68th minute, just a few minutes after he subbed in for striker Steven Lenhart.
A key moment came in the 77th minute when San Jose defender Victor Bernardez picked up his second yellow card of the night and was disqualified from playing, thereby putting his team 1 man down to the full strength of Los Angeles.
The 2-1 Galaxy lead moved into injury time where the combination of lackluster defensive play and slow-reaction-time goalkeeping began. In the 92nd minute, an Earthquake throw-in went into the area, was backheaded by Omar Gonzalez, deflected off another L.A. defender into the keeper Cudicini who couldn’t catch the ball. Instead the ball fell out of his hands in front of the net where San Jose midfielder Shea Salinas knocked it in easily for the equalizer.
Roughly a minute and a half later, a demoralized L.A. defense let Alan Gordon head a short cross behind the defense into the netting for the winner. Replay showed neither Gonzalez nor Cudicini having the energy or will to leap and challenge the pass.
Los Angeles remains in 5th place in the west with 24 points while San Jose improves to a tie for 7th place at 21 points.