LA Galaxy drop Game 1 to San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0

November 5, 2012

Landon Donovan / Tri Le
Carson, CA -- Before a sold out Home Depot Center Sunday night, the Los Angeles Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes clashed in Game 1 of their two-game Western Conference Semi-Finals playoff series.  The Galaxy earned the right to face San Jose when they won a thrilling playoff Wild Card game, 2-1, Thursday night at home against Vancouver.

San Jose had the game's first scoring chance when the Galaxy's Tommy Meyer failed to clear a ball played into Chris Wondolowski on a throw-in, as Wondolowski almost kicked it in past goalkeeper Josh Saunders.

In the 8th minute, the Galaxy got their chance to score when David Beckham took a free-kick from about 25 yards out. Beckham's free-kick eventually found Robbie Keane, but Keane headed the ball wide of goal.

Landon Donovan/Tri Le

Juninho uncharacteristically seemed to struggle throughout the game for the Galaxy with his passing and shots. However, in the 39th minute, he would have a great moment when he stole the ball and sprinted towards goal.  Landon Donovan made a run underneath the defense and Juninho passed it to him. Donovan sent the ball across the front of goal, but Keane was unable to get a foot on it.

In the 47th minute San Jose threatened again, as Victor Bernardez's long free-kick forced Saunders to make a diving punch-out to keep the game scoreless.

In typical Galaxy-Earthquakes fashion, there was some feuding in the 52nd minute when Omar Gonzalez and Steven Lenhart got into a tangle over the ball and exchanged words.

By the 70th minute, the Earthquakes had made all 3 subs, and soon thereafter the Galaxy would sub Edson Buddle in for Beckham.

In the 72nd minute and the 86th minute, Keane had two shots on goal, one of which unluckily hit the crossbar.

LA v. San Jose / Tri Le

However, in a call that might have changed the course of this series, Marcelo Sarvas was incorrectly called for a foul in stoppage time. San Jose was given a free-kick and Victor Bernardez again stepped up. As Bernandez kicked the ball, Gonzalez decided to jump, but the shot was directed at the feet of the wall.  The shot deflected off of Gonzalez's foot and barely made it under Saunders for a goal. Bernardez's score would give the Earthquakes a 1-0 lead in the series' aggregate score.

Game 2 will be played on Wednesday night in San Jose, as the 2011 MLS Champion Galaxy will look to overcome a 1-0 deficit in the final game of this series and advance to the Western Conference Championship.

By Brian Kowalski
Staff Reporter for The Daily Sports Herald

Photographs by Tri Le
Photography Editor for The Daily Sports Herald

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