Photo credit: @LAGalaxy
By Pearl Allison Lo
CARSON, Calif. — It took a while, but Romain Alessandrini became the hero as Los Angeles won in the 82nd minute and defeated the San Jose Earthquakes in the first 2018 California Clasico at the StubHub Center Friday night.
Right after the Quakes made their first substitution in the 82nd minute, Alessandrini, who was tearful after, made the game’s first shot on target and converted. It would be his third shot, a team-high. The last time Alessandrini scored was March 4th, the first game of the season.
It was close to being a different story though. In the 89th minute, the Quakes’ Danny Hoesen most likely would have had his fourth goal in a row, if goalie David Bingham did not deflect the ball, which hit the crossbar after. That was the only other shot on goal.
It was the Galaxy’s second 1-0 win in a row. The last time San Jose was blanked was May 5th. Both teams were struggling coming into the game in their last five.
Quakes’ coach Mikael Stahre evaluated the game, “…it was quite a good game. I think it was a game with lots of intensity and passion and I think we stood up in a good way and…we deserve at least a tie this evening.
Both teams were sporting the same uniform before the game, in support of the Major League Soccer’s Soccer For All initiative.
The first half saw a total of five shots. Attempts on both sides were matched by opposing players. The Quakes’ Vako had the most shots with three, but all were blocked.
Los Angeles’ Chris Pontius had a just wide header in the seventh minute.
One of Vako’s shot hit Emrah Klimenta in the arm in the 21st minute, but there was no call.
Shots picked up in the second half with a total of nine for the Galaxy and five for San Jose, but the defenses remained stalwart.
Alessandrini fell on his way to the net in the 51st minute.
Los Angeles’ Giovani dos Santos, who was questionable with an undisclosed injury, entered the game in the 75th minute.
When Vako was subbed out, he was the only player for San Jose with a shot, a total of five. At the end, Hoesen had two and Magnus Eriksson had one more.
Game Notes: Changes from last game for the Quakes were Shea Salinas, Vako and Chris Wondolowski put in the starting lineup.
The Galaxy were without a suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Up Next: San Jose will look to right their ship when they face the Chicago Fire Saturday June 2 at 5:30 pm PST.