LA Galaxy 0-1 San Jose Earthquakes: Late Bernardez free kick stuns defending champs

Zac Lee Rigg
MLS Preview: San Jose Earthquakes - LA Galaxy

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes combined for 16 goals in their three regular season meetings. In the first of a two-legged playoff tie, at the Home Depot Center, they scored one, with San Jose winning late 1-0.

The first half produced as many fashion highlights as goal chances. Steven Lenhart began the game with his hair in a bun, but quickly let the frizzy mane free. Also, Marvin Chavez was sent to the sidelines to remove his earrings.

The chances came mostly through the Galaxy, aside from a second minute Chris Wondolowski shot. In the early going, David Beckham arced a free kick toward net from the left flank. Robbie Keane connected but the ball skidded off the top of his head and zipped a few feet wide.

At the end of the half, Los Angeles created two chances down the left wing. First Landon Donovan pulled the ball back behind Keane's run and in stoppage time Todd Dunivant's cross sizzled a few inches above Mike Magee's head.

Several second half substitutions, including a rare withdrawal of David Beckham, helped spark the game.

The best Galaxy chance of the match came five minutes from time. Magee scooted the ball to Donovan, who backpassed to Keane. The Irishman blasted from just outside the box, and the entire goal frame shuddered when the ball hit the crossbar.

Then, deep into stoppage time, Victor Bernardez of all people settled the match. He took a lengthy run up on a free kick from 35 yards out and crushed the ball through the wall. It trickled past Josh Saunders and into the net to secure the away win.

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