The Los Angeles Galaxy celebrate after a deflected ball that went off of the San Jose Earthquakes Tanner Beason’s foot and went into the Quakes own goal for the score of the night as the Galaxy wound up chalking up the win at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson (@LA Galaxy photo)
by Marko Ukalovic
CARSON, Calif—Jonathan Bond stole the show late in the second half as the Los Angeles Galaxy only needed one goal to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 in the first installment of the 2021 California Classico on Saturday afternoon at Dignity Health Sports Park.
San Jose has lost a season worst four matches in a row and have been stuck on nine points for the past month. Los Angeles have won three out of its last four matches and have 15 points. They are undefeated at home at 4-0-0.
Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda used a different starting line up in the match. Tyler Beason, Judson and Carlos Fierro returned to the starting 11 for San Jose.
Los Angeles (5-2-0) took advantage of the open play throughout most of the game. They out shot San Jose 12-4 in the first half as they were able to generate multiple scoring chances.
San Jose (3-5-0) almost gifted wrapped LA a goal in the 31st minute. Quakes goalie JT Marcinkowski was guilty of another nonchalant pass inside his own box. Efraín Álvarez intercepted the ball and his shot hit off the right post. On the conceded corner kick, Daniel Steres’ header hit the cross bar and then Jonathan dos Santos rebound attempt was knocked away by Quakes defenseman Tommy Thompson.
“We went wrong by letting the game be open,” said Chris Wondolowski. “At times that can suit us, but we knew coming into this game that was not our game plan.”
The Galaxy came out strong in the second half as Chicharito had a shot from close range stopped by Marcinkowski in the 47th minute.
The Quakes got a break when dos Santos had to leave the game in the 51st minute with an apparent lower body injury and was replaced by Adam Saldaña.
San Jose had momentum on its side after making three substitutions at the 62nd minute. Wondolowski, Shae Salinas and Paul Marie entered the game for Almeyda. Wondo had two scoring chances and Salinas had one from the 64th to 65th minute but Bond came through with saves on all three attempts.
“There are moments when matches go a certain way. The games are close, and the ball won’t go in. We need to keep working. We have to give the players calmness because this also becomes a questions of confidence,” Almeyda said.
Los Angles broke the seal in the 70th minute. Samuel Grandsir, who came in the match as a sub in the 63rd minute, received the ball from 15 yards out. Grandsir bulled his way past Paul Marie, knocking him down inside the box. Grandsir’s shot from along the end line went off the foot of Beason and into the back of the net for an own goal.
It was the only scoring the Galaxy would need as they relied on their goalkeeper to preserve the win.
Bond saved his best for last near the end of the match. In a two-minute span from the 79th minute to the 81st minute he stopped two point blank chances by the San Jose. First in the 79th minute, Andy Rios got behind LA’s defense with a one-on-one attempt only to have Bond kick it away from danger. Then in the 81st minute, Salinas’ rebound attempt was knocked away by Bond for a corner kick.
“Executing the game plan is something that we need to work on. I think right now, we’ve gotten a little too much in a hero ball. Guys take it upon themselves and try to do something special and I think (those are) the times we have been dangerous to be honest,” Wondolowski said.
San Jose kept the pressure inside the Galaxy end with four minutes of stoppage time but weren’t able to score the equalizer in a frustrated effort.
Bond finished the match stopping all 12 shots on goal to earn the shutout victory, his fifth of the season. Marcinkowski made seven saves on the eight shots he faced in the losing cause.
GAME NOTES: Each time had four corner kicks in the match.
Thompson, who made his 150th appearance for San Jose, became the first home grown player to wear the captain’s armband.
San Jose is 6-3-2 in its last 11 matches against the Galaxy.
Judson made his first start since November 8th, 2020.
Salinas made his 300th career appearance for the Quakes. He became only the second player in franchise history to to reach that mark.
UP NEXT: San Jose continues its road trip to Texas where they take on Austin FC in its first ever match up with the new expansion team on Saturday 6/19 at 6:00pm at Q2 Stadium.