For a couple of minutes there, it looked like the 62nd regular-season version of the California Clasico would go down as one of the more painful in recent memory for the San Jose Earthquakes.
That is until Fatai Alashe saved the day.
San Jose fought off some major disappointment and a rush of offense by the Los Angeles Galaxy to salvage a point on the road, tying their rivals, 1-1. Alashe scored in the 87th minute on a sneaky header four minutes after Marvell Wynne’s defensive efforts resulted in a devastating own goal that seemed destined to break San Jose’s collective heart.
But four minutes after the letdown, Chad Barrett’s hustle set up a cross from the left side that Alashe darted towards, beating his defenders to redirect the ball with his head into the Los Angeles goal for the equalizer with three minutes left in regulation.
San Jose had the better run of play in the first half and Wynne’s mistake hurt that much more considering the opportunities the Quakes had to seize control of the match. Chris Wondolowski missed on a trio of chances inside the 18 that might have significantly changed the complexion of the game. San Jose outshot Los Angeles 12-9 in the match.
The Galaxy turned on the pressure in the second half and Giovani Dos Santos came a couple of inches from scoring an absolute wonderful goal in the 73rd minute for Los Angeles’ best chance of the match.
The Galaxy are still unbeaten at home this season while San Jose remains winless away from Avaya Stadium in 2016.
MAN OF THE MATCH:
In a match where emotions always run high, Alashe played a solid center midfield for San Jose on Sunday to fulfill his role and he also was a savior with his second goal of the season.
Again, we’ll point to the Alashe goal as the turning point considering without it, the result might have been one that stuck with San Jose for some time. The midfielder’s goal could not have come at a better time for the Quakes both physically and psychologically.
Reported attendance at the StubHub Center in Carson was 27,167.
A couple of San Jose players took boots to the head during the match but neither came out. In a bit of good news relating to injury, Cordell Cato made his 2016 debut. And Barrett, who’s also been battling injuries, continued his recovery by getting on the score sheet for the first time this season with that assist to Alashe.
San Jose: Alberto Quintero (23’, yellow).
The Quakes return to Avaya Stadium on Saturday, May 28 to take on FC Dallas. You can check out all the action on CSN California beginning at 7:30 p.m. PT.