Wondo's winner gives Quakes 4-3 comeback win over Galaxy

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Wondo's winner gives Quakes 4-3 comeback win over Galaxy

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STANFORD -- An exciting back-and-forth game between the San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy at sold-out Stanford Stadium finished with the Quakes victorious over their Southern California rivals by a score of 4-3. The fireworks on the field didnt finish until Chris Wondolowskis acrobatic back-heeled match winner in the 61st minute.

After taking a 1-0 lead through an early Steven Lenhart goal, the Earthquakes surrendered three straight to the Galaxy, with the most impressive a trademark free kick goal from David Beckham. San Jose stormed back to draw level with goals from Victor Bernardez and Sam Cronin either side of halftime, setting up Wondolowskis winner.

The Earthquakes, for the second time this season, defeated the Galaxy after falling behind by two goals. The 4-3 victory keeps San Jose at the top of the MLS standings at the halfway point in their season.

The Earthquakes struck first, as in the 7th minute, Marvin Chavez cut a ball back across the top of the Galaxy penalty area and struck a knuckling shot that goalkeeper Josh Saunders could only parry away. The loose ball in the six yard box was quickly pounced on by Lenhart and tapped into the open goal to put the Quakes up 1-0.

The Galaxy equalized in the 31st minute from a trademark free kick from Beckham. Taken just outside the area, Beckham curled the ball over the Earthquakes defensive wall and into the upper 90 to bring Los Angeles level.

The visitors then scored the next two goals courtesy of some horror defending by the Earthquakes. In the 36th minute, a diagonal ball from Mike Magee to Hector Jimenez left the Galaxy midfielder with an open goal to shoot at. Quakes defender Jason Hernandez raced back in an attempt to clear the ball, but instead deflected it into the net for an own-goal. The Galaxy scored again in the 41st minute through Donovan, and again Hernandez was to blame. His ill-advised back-pass to goalkeeper Jon Busch was intercepted by Magee, sent outside to Jimenez, and squared back into the area for Donovan to finish and put Los Angeles up 3-1.

The Earthquakes kept possession from the restart and were finally rewarded for their efforts in the 44th minute, when a through-ball from Steven Beitashour found Wondolowski driving into the area. The ball tackled out for a corner kick, which Chavez lined up from deep in the right corner. His kick into the area was met by defender Bernardez and kicked into the back of the net to bring the Earthquakes within a goal of the Galaxy.

The second half started brightly for the Earthquakes, as in the 47th minute, Beitashour found space just inside the center line and sent a long ball toward the top of the Galaxy area. Lenhart drew a defender close and dummied the ball for Cronin to run onto with only Saunders to beat. He slotted the ball past the Los Angeles keeper to bring the score to 3-3.

The Earthquakes regained the lead in the 61st minute when a corner kick from Chavez was driven low and flicked into the Galaxy six-yard box by Ramiro Corrales. Who else but Wondolowski was there to meet the ball, and with while facing away from goal, back-heeled a shot past Saunders for his 14th goal of the MLS season.

The Galaxy put together a spirited effort to get back into the game, but second half substitute goalkeeper David Bingham kept the home side ahead. In the 74th minute, with Beckham charging into the area and the ball at his feet, he poked a ball toward goal that Bingham turned around the post. The Galaxy would get no closer to equalizing over the last quarter hour of the match.

San Jose heads on the road for a pair of league games next week, first at the Portland Timbers on Tuesday and second at FC Dallas on Saturday.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' lopsided loss to Red Bulls

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Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' lopsided loss to Red Bulls

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The San Jose Earthquakes had one big thing going for them when they took on the New York Red Bulls Wednesday evening — they were on 10 days rest having last played a truly competitive match on July 10 in U.S. Open Cup action.

Unfortunately for the Quakes, they failed to take advantage of that in losing to the Red Bulls 5-1 — definitely not the return to the pitch they were hoping for.  

Here are five takeaways from a Wednesday evening, lopsided loss to NYR. 

— The Quakes had no answer for Sacha Kljestan. The Red Bulls midfielder, who frequented the U.S. Men’s National Team roster at one point, was not called to international duty for the ongoing FIFA Gold Cup and San Jose paid the price for that — the man finessed the Quakes to death on Wednesday evening, factoring in three New York goals with his use of spacing in the Red Bulls midfield. 

— There were a couple of big debuts for San Jose. First, newly signed designated player Valeri Qazaishvili — who the MLS world is calling Vako — made his league debut when in he came as a substitute for Danny Hoesen at halftime. The Georgian native showed flashes with his early touch, but never really factored in the game until the 88th minute when he scored the Quakes’ lone goal on a volley tap courtesy of a nifty Jahmir Hyka cross. It’s a nice debut on the scoresheet, but San Jose is expecting DP-esque things from the Georgian. 

— And second, welcome back, Quincy Amarikwa. The forward has been sidelined since September of 2016 when he suffered ACL and LCL damage that required surgery. Amarikwa has been documenting his recovery on social media and surprised Quakes fans when he make his on-pitch return last week in a friendly against Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt. On Wednesday, he made his official return in the 76th minute. Amarikwa has nine goals and seven assists in 41 career appearances with the Quakes. 

— It definitely wasn’t the homecoming head coach Chris Leitch was hoping for. Leitch played for five seasons over with the New York club. He made 101 appearances for the Metrostars/Red Bulls, assisting on five goals during his career. 

He’s now 0-1-0 as an opposing head coach. 

— It’s unfair to nitpick on a single defensive effort, given that soccer is a team sport, but the Red Bulls attacked center back Andres Imperiale often Wednesday afternoon — and more often than not, they were rewarded with a scoring opportunity. It’s the second straight poor showing on the road for the Quakes defense as a whole after surrendering a four-spot to Atlanta United FC on Independence Day.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' historic US Open Cup win over Galaxy

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' historic US Open Cup win over Galaxy

It was a historic night over at Avaya Stadium. 

For the first time in U.S. Open Cup history, the San Jose Earthquakes have beaten their bitter rivals, the Los Angeles Galaxy -- 3-2. 

The win also propels the Quakes to just their second appearance in the tournament's semifinals. 

Chris Wondolowski scored a brace to lead the way while Danny Hoesen added the insurance. 

Here are a handful of things to know about Monday's win over the Galaxy. 

-- The sixth time was the charm as the Quakes had lost five previous meetings against their rivals. But the night began with some doubts when Jelle Van Damme scored in just the third minute. His header was goal No. 2 in the last two games against the Quakes.

But Wondolowski equalized courtesy of Tommy Thompson in the 16th minute and then put the San Jose up for good six minutes in the second half -- once again, thanks to Thompson. 

Hoesen scored a breakaway goal about ten minutes later.  

-- If you tried to find Wondolowski on the pitch using his regular number, you were unsuccessful. 

Wondolowski was sporting No. 38 Monday night in honor of Matheus Silva, the Quakes midfielder playing for Reno 1868 on loan who suffered swimming accident July 4 in Lake Tahoe. 

Silva was in a coma until July 6. 

Fittingly, the forward scored twice. Wondolowski's goal is the sixth of his U.S. Open Cup career. He's now tied for the all-time lead in Earthquakes history.  

-- Pregame, the Quakes introduced their latest acquisition, Designated Player Valeri ‘Vako’ Qazaishvili, to the press. 

Qazaishvili began his career in his native Georgia with FC Saburtalo in 2010, spending time on loan with Metalurgi Rustavi and Sioni Bulnisi. 

He then moved on to Vitesse in August of 2011 at just 18 years old, tallying one goal in four appearances for the first team in his debut season.

-- Speaking of Georgia, the Bay Area now boasts two of the nation's very best athletes. Zaza Pachulia, the starting center of the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, was in attendance MOnday night. 

The center kicked the ceremonial first goal. 

He also swapped jerseys with Vako -- as per usual in soccer circles. No word on Pachulia's footy game. 

-- The Quakes have already equaled their best ever finish in Cup history. They'll now try to surpass that when they face either Sporting Kansas City of FC Dallas -- who play Tuesday night.