San Jose, CA – The San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy probably have the best, least talked up rivalry in MLS. It hasn’t commanded a lot of attention in recent seasons on the national stage, mainly to the lack of competitors status that the Earthquakes had. Despite that, the rivalry was still quite scintillating. The first Cali Classico of 2017 lived up to that level.
Galaxy Walk Away Winners in First Edition of Cali Classico in 2017
The Cali Classico started off with a bang. In the 10th minute, Chris Wondolowski gave the San Jose Earthquakes the lead with a perfect volley, off a perfect cross played by Danny Hoesen. Joao Pedro answered within ten minutes, evening the score at one.
In the 34th minute, Bradley Diallo won a penalty kick off of Kofi Sarkodie. While there were many dubious calls around the league this week, this one was quite straightforward.
Giovanni Dos Santos promptly finished the penalty kick to give the Galaxy their first lead at 2-1. The Earthquakes answered back, as Tommy Thompson got a ball in to Danny Hoesen, who picked up his first goal with the Earthquakes. At 2-2, and the game still tightly contested, the Galaxy came back down the field just before halftime. Dos Santos whipped a ball in the box from a tight angle, that glanced of Victor Bernardez’s shiny dome, and into the net for his annual own goal. The scoreline remained 3-2 at the half.
In the second half, the Galaxy were content to absorb the Earthquakes numbers forward, and sit back and counter. A beautiful counter attack in the 64th minute gave the Galaxy their 4-2 lead, and the scoreline would remain to the final whistle. Romain Alessandrini sent in the perfect cross to Dos Santos who headed the ball in for his second goal of the match, clinching their victory.
The San Jose Earthquakes still sit above the red-line in the playoff picture, even though they endured their first home loss of the year. It’s also the first time in the last two seasons that they’ve lost when scoring two goals. The defensive effort just wasn’t enough from them tonight. It didn’t make things much better as they were without two first choice central midfielders, forcing Tommy Thompson, largely an attack minded player, into a role that required more on the defensive end. It didn’t work out as the Quakes midfield was wide open for the Galaxy play makers.
The Galaxy stuck to their game-plan, even in the midst of the Quakes early goal. They knew they would get their chances, and they finished them off.
The San Jose Earthquakes currently sit on 19 points after four games, good for fourth in the West. They will travel to Portland to play the slumping Timbers on June 2nd. The Galaxy sit on 17 points in 12 matches good for sixth, just above the red-line in the West. They will travel to Washington D.C. to take on D.C. United at the old and decrepit RFK Stadium on June 3rd.