For the second time in 2012, the Los Angeles Galaxy gave up the lead in the California Clasico and the San Jose Earthquakes walked away with a 4-3 victory. A sellout crowd at Stanford Stadium resulted in a lively atmosphere. Both teams played well but, in the end, San Jose played a little bit better. Here are my thoughts on the match.
Seven Goals in 54 minutes
Going into the game, I knew neither team was going to post a shutout. Yet, I wasn't expecting seven goals in about 54 minutes. In the 7th minute, Steven Lenhart capitalized on a rebound with a close range goal. Yet, then David Beckham bent in a free kick in the 31st. Five minutes later, Hector Jimenez forced an own goal from the Earthquakes' Jason Hernandez. Five minutes after that, Landon Donovan scored his sixth goal of the season. Although we were up by two goals, I didn't feel secure in our lead. After all, the last time we played San Jose, they came back from a two goal deficit too. Sure enough, Victor Bernardez one touched a Martin Chavez corner into our goal. Minutes later, Sam Cronin poked in the equalizer. Chris Wondolowski's back-heel goal proved to be the game winner.
San Jose Came Back, Again
I have to give San Jose credit for never giving up. After these first matchups, a two goal lead is never going to be enough to make me feel comfortable. The Earthquakes are dangerous in the box and off of set pieces. I also have to give credit to David Bingham for keeping the Quakes in the game. Bingham came in for Jon Busch who had suffered a laceration under his eye. He came up big in the 74th minute when Beckham got free from the San Jose defense and tried to toe-poke a shot over the keeper.
Saunders' Awesome Save
One of the most memorable moments of the game was Josh Saunders' triple save. In the 51st minute, the Galaxy keeper sprawled out to save Wondo's low shot. Our defense tried to clear the ball but San Jose shot the ball back to the goal twice. Eventually, Saunders caught the ball. I imagine this sequence will be up for save of the week.
Beckham's Yellow Card
At the end of the game, Beckham's emotions boiled over. On the sideline, the English midfielder kicked a ball and it hit Cronin who was on the ground from a collision. It definitely wasn't Becks finest moment and he received a yellow card for his actions. As a result of card accumulation, Beckham will have to miss the July 4th match against the Philadelphia Union. Beckham was likely frustrated due to the poor officiating and who could blame him. I just wished he had handled himself a little better.
Despite the loss, the Galaxy are still looking good. The defeat knocked us into sixth place in the West but I don't think we will be there for long.
Melissa Matters is a long time Los Angeles resident and devoted Los Angeles Galaxy fan.
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