Chicharito’s brace leads Galaxy over Quakes 3-1 in Cali Classico

The Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond looked about as surprised as the San Jose Earthquakes offense did standing in front of the net after Bond stopped a shot at Pay Pal Park in San Jose on Sat Jun 26, 2021 (@LAGalaxy photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE–Chicharito scored two goals and the Los Angeles Galaxy cruised to a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Pay Pal Park in the second installment of the California Classico.

Los Angeles have won three out of its last four matches, including two against San Jose. The Quakes have lost two matches in a row and are winless in their last four.

This was the first game where Pay Pal Park has been at full capacity for attendance since the 2019 season.

The Galaxy (7-3-0) drew first blood early in the second half. Samuel Grandsir serviced the ball from the right side into the middle where an unmarked Chicharito raced in and one-timed the ball past Quakes goalie JT Marcinkowski for his ninth goal of the season at the 11th minute.

Despite having a 60%-40% edge in possession, San Jose (3-7-1) weren’t able to generate any quality scoring chances in the first 45 minutes of the match.

Los Angeles generated quality scoring chances with counter attacks that had San Jose on its heels during the first half including a shot from Grandsir from the left side of the box that Marcinkowski saved from going into the back of the net in the 41st minute.

“I think the team looked different compared to the last game,” said Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda. “They uncovered their identity. We keep making the same mistakes where we have to restart in the middle (of the pitch).”

San Jose had a chance to score the equalizer in the 49th minute but Chofis’s shot hit off the right post.

The Galaxy doubled its lead a minute later on an almost identical goal. Once again Chicharito was left unmarked by the Quakes defense and one-timed a shot after receiving a centering pass from Kévin Cabral for his team leading 10th goal of the season at the 50th minute.

Almeyda inserted 17-year sensation Cade Cowell from off the bench in the 54th minute and he immediately provided a spark for the anemic offense.

In the 57th minute Chofis had the ball inside the box, did a spin-o-rama before firing a shot just to the outside of the night on the right side. Then two minutes later Jackson Yueill’s shot from 15 yards out was saved by Galaxy goalie Jonathan Bond.

To add insult to injury, the Galaxy received its third goal thanks to a gift from Florian Jungwirth. Cameron Dunbar serviced a ball into the middle and the ball hit off the foot of Jungwith and rolled into an empty net in the 70th minute.

The Quakes spoiled Bond’s shutout bid in the 82nd minute when Chofis found Cowell just inside the D box and the sophomore forward beat Bond with a left footed to the lower left corner of the net for his third goal of the season.

San Jose broke a 258 minute score-less draught with Cowell’s goal. The last time they had scored in a match was against Sporting KC on 5/22/21 when Chofis scored the opening goal in the fourth minute.

Bond made two saves on three shots to earn the victory. Marcinkowski made one save on three shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose had five corner kicks. LA had two.

San Jose was issued a yellow card at the 40th minute when Almeyda kicked a ball back onto the field before a free kick.

UP NEXT: The Quakes travel out to St.Paul to began a three-game road trip as the take on Minnesota FC on Saturday 7/3 at 5:00pm at Allianz Field.

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