San Jose Earthquakes knock off LA Galaxy, Advance to US Open Cup Semifinals

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San Jose Earthquakes
ATLANTA, GA JULY 04: Tommy Thompson (22) is mobbed by teammates after scoring a goal during a match between the San Jose Earthquakes and Atlanta United on July 4, 2017 at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field in Atlanta, GA. Atlanta United FC defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 4 2. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

San Jose, CA (July 10, 2017) – After the July 1st edition of the Cali Classico, the tradition of a late winner took a momentary pause. Maybe it’s because the match was at Avaya Stadium, and not Stanford Stadium. Whatever the case, this match was over well before we hit stoppage time. A late Galaxy goal made things interesting, but the San Jose Earthquakes held on for a 3-2 win, sending them to the U.S Open Cup semifinals for the first time in Club history.

San Jose Earthquakes knock off LA Galaxy, Advance to US Open Cup Semifinals

The last time these two teams met, it was an entertaining match, full of screaming Van Dammes, goal scoring Van Dammes, goal scoring Wondolowskis, and a shirtless Shea Salinas screaming and running around the field at Stanford Stadium. Tonight’s had another goal scoring VanDamme, but two goal-scoring Wondolowski’s. The San Jose Earthquakes went down really early to the Galaxy thanks to the shiny dome of Jelle VanDamme. VanDamme essentially “dunked” on Florian Jungwirth as he blasted the header home.

About ten minutes later, Chris Wondolowski scored a goal seemingly from nowhere. He took his time, when presented with space about 20-25 yards out, he unleashed a left footed “worm-burner” that beat Brian Rowe.

After that, the Earthquakes settled in. They started to get confident going forward, and all of a sudden they were in full blown “Goal-Hunting” mode. Tommy Thompson was running right at defenders, Jackson Yuiell was putting passes on a dime, and Jamir Hyka was sliding in-and-out of pockets of space that I didn’t know existed. They attacked Emmanuel Boateng’s flank relentlessly, trying to take advantage of his lackadaisical defending.

It was a miracle the Earthquakes didn’t get a goal before the half. Jamir Hyka had an incredible back-heel flick go off the crossbar, and Nick Lima had an insane two touch sequence where he took the ball down out of the air, then turned and volleyed. That shot barely missed the upper corner. The biggest chance of all came on another Lima play, where he sent a perfect ball in to Hyka, who couldn’t wrap his foot around the shot.

The second half was more of the same though, and five minutes in the Earthquakes, and Wondo, got his second. Tommy Thompson found space at the edge of the 18 yard box, and sent in a cross that fooled Rowe into coming off his line. The cross was weighted perfectly and Wondo was sitting there, wide-open at the back post to tap it in with his head.

As the Earthquakes started to sit back a bit more and try and hit the Galaxy on the counter, the perfect chance opened up. Hyka intercepted a pass and hit the ball to Danny Hoesen, who reeled off a seemingly “4.4” 40-yard dash and blasted home a shot off the fingertips of Rowe. A pin-ball type play resulted in a Jackson Yuiell own goal, which he really deserves no fault in. That made it 3-2, but the Galaxy were already out of life on the night.

The result for the San Jose Earthquakes gives them their first ever win against the Galaxy in US Open Cup play, and brings them to their second Semi-Final appearance in the tournament. The last time they reached this stage in the competition was in 2004. They are set to take on the winner of Sporting KC and FC Dallas, who play tomorrow night at 8:30 ET. The home team for that semifinal has not been set.

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