By Alexandra Evans and Marko Ukalovic
PALO ALTO—The San Jose Earthquakes faced the LA Galaxy at Stanford Stadium on Saturday with an attendance of 50,743 fans. The Quakes were searching to close out the month of June by coming back from seven consecutive winless games (including four straight losses and back-to-back draws), but ended up taking another draw 3-3.
Numbers first went up on the board for the Galaxy in the second minute. Zlatan Ibrahimovic kicked the ball from nearly 10 yards out to the left of the net, passing both forward Danny Hoesen and Quakes goaltender Andrew Tarbell before either could make any defensive plays.
The Quakes almost responded when Vako danced into the Galaxy’s defensive zone, but was immediately robbed of the ball. David Bingham made an excellent save off in the 11th minute, when the ball was nearly sent over his head into the net from the right side.
LA tried to double their lead in the 12th minute. Romain Alessandrini made what looked like a promising shot toward Tarbell, but went wide of net to the right.
Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski was given a free scoring chance after LA’s Bradford Jamieson was issued a yellow card for tripping Quakes midfielder Magnus Eriksson. Wondolowski’s first shot was saved by Bingham, then rebounded, after which he struck the ball into the dead center of the net, tying the game 1-1.
Tarbell made a save off of a shot from Alessandrini in the 19th minute, who shot from the righthand side of the net. Alessandrini would reattempt from the left side a minute later, succeeding, and giving the Galaxy their lead back.
Wondolowski glided his way toward the net in the 23rd minute, nearly stripping LA’s lead with what was only to be halted by Bingham.
Ibrahimovic took a penalty kick in the 25th minute after Quakes’ Francois Affolter was fouled. This opportunity resulted in Ibrahimovic’s second goal of the night, giving LA a two point lead (1-3).
In the 36th minute, Hoesen carried the ball from center field to the left end of LA’s defensive zone, from which he made his shot, though the ball lost momentum and was picked up by Bingham.
Vako added a point for the Quakes in the 39th minute when he struck the ball from 20 yards out of the center of the net between the legs of Jamieson and directly past Bingham. The Quakes trailed 3-2.
In the 42nd minute, Florian Jungwirth almost tied the game when he took a pass from 10 yards out and dribbled the ball into LA’s penalty zone before the ball was deflected out of bounds. Wondolowski, in the 45th minute, stood approximately 10 yards away from the net and attempted a shot, which was also deflected.
The second half commenced with Tarbell making a save off of Ibrahimovic in the 46th minute, stopping what would have been a hat trick for the 6’5″, 209-pound native of Malmo, Sweden.
“Unfortunately, two [of the six goals] were scored by the big super star,” Jungwirth said, jokingly, of Ibrahimovic, sparking laughter amongst the media.
“It is going to be hard if you concede after one minute,” Hoesen said of Ibrahimovic’s goal in the second minute. “But we know Zlatan is a quality player, and he can punish you in those situations.”
“There was a minute in the game, in the second half, where I kind of looked him up and down, and I thought, ‘This is a big dude!'” Nick Lima laughed with the media. “But it is good to play against players like that, you can see the way he is thinking.”
Although they picked things up in the second half, the Quakes struggled to score much-needed goals, despite being given multiple chances. Vako danced around the defensive zone for some time in the 57th minute before giving up the ball, which then went to Jungwirth. He passed the ball to Eriksson effortlessly, who then gave it to Lima whose shot was deflected. In the 59th minute, Eriksson struck the ball directly toward the corner of the net, which was caught beautifully Bingham. Hoesen kicked the ball wide of net (to the left) in the 65th minute.
A penalty on Michael Ciani gave the Quakes a penalty kick opportunity. Wondolowski did the honor, giving the Quakes a long-awaited point and tying the score 3-3.
Shea Salinas stepped in for Lima in the 80th minute, during which Tarbell also made a solid save off of Jamieson, who made a breakaway in the 86th minute. It looked promising that LA would take the lead again. At the last second, though, the ball was shot left, wide of net.
Clearly in a panic, the Quakes hustled into LA’s defensive zone, where Wondolowski’s shot with 15 seconds left in regulation bounced off the post.
The game ended in a 3-3 draw, the Quakes’ third consecutive.
“I was quite direct in my instructions at halftime, if I am frank,” said Quakes head coach Mikael Stahre, who then explained that he was satisfied with the way the team played in the second half (they did not allow the Galaxy any additional goals after the three they tallied in 25 minutes).
The Quakes will head north for their next match against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park. The game will stream live at 8:00 p.m. PST.
- Defender Harold Cummings and midfielder Anibal Godoy are absent due to international duty
- Danny Hoesen has recorded six goals and assists throughout June (10 goals in the last eight matches), trailing first-place Victor Vasquez (who has seven) of Toronto FC
- This was the first MLS match the Galaxy had competed in since June 9.