Categorized | MLS, MLS Match Reports

Galaxy Rally to Upset Earthquakes

Posted on 08 November 2012 by iyeo

Playing against the recently crowned Supporters Shield winners in the MLS playoffs in a place where the home team had not lost since August of 2011 in an elimination game, especially when trailing by a goal on aggregate  would be dfficult for any team.

Apparently, someone didn’t tell that to the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The Galaxy’s reign as the MLS Cup Champions will continue for at least another week, as Robbie Keane found the back net twice and Mike Magee added a third and the Galaxy rode those three goals and eventually held off the San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 in the second leg of its Western Conference Semifinal series.

The win gives LA the series win 3-2 on aggregate and eliminates the league-leading Quakes and sends the Galaxy to the Western Conference Finals, where they wil await the winner of the series between Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders, which is currenlty scoreless as the two teams play the second leg at RSL’s Rio Tinto Stadium on Thursday.

The Galaxy struck in the 20th minute, as Robbie Keane took a short pass from Mike Magee, raced towards goal, then fired a volley from 22 yards out that sailed past keeper Jon Busch, bounced off the near post and crossed the goal line to even the series on aggregate. San Jose did have a chance to pull back ahead in the series in the 26th minute when Simon Dawkins from the right played a ball forward for right back Steve Beitashour towards the penalty area, Beitashour then crossed into the box, Galaxy keeper Josh Saunders and Center Back Omar Gonzalez both went for the ball, Gonzalez chested the ball down, but int he process, left an open net for Chris Wondolowski in the box, but the MLS Golden Boot winner pulled his shot over the crossbar. The Galaxy eventually made the Quakes pay in the 34th minute, as Donovan led a break and laid a perfectly weighted ball for a sprinting Keane, who then rounded Busch and slid a shot into the back net to give LA a two-goal lead in the match, but more importantly, the aggregate lead. Mike Magee added to both leads in the 39th minute, when after a sequence of touches between Landon Donovan and Sean Franklin, Donovan crossed a ball into the box and Magee’s one-time beat Busch low into the back post.

Perhaps no team was more weary of the Quakes’ propensity for late-match heroicis in 2012 than the Galaxy due to the fact that San Jose not only came from behind to steal points in all three of its meetings against LA this season and also scored in stoppage time last week to win the first leg. Sure enough, the Quakes broke through in the 82nd minute, as Sam Cronin’s corner was initially cleared out of the 18, Justin Morrow tried a volley outside of the box, but it ended up bouncing, but ended up being a blessing in disgiuse, as Alan Gordon shot the ball past Saunders near post to cut into the Galaxy advantage. San Jose did have one chance to even the series in stoppage time, as Alan Gordon took advantage of apparent miscommunication between defenders Sean Franklin and Tommy Meyer and scooped up an open ball, fed to Wondolowski, who quickly sent it forward for a sprinting Ike Opara in the penalty area, but an unmarked Opara sent his chance over the crossbar.

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