The San Jose Earthquakes are worryingly adept at putting themselves into comeback situations against the LA Galaxy but are even better at digging their way out. A clinical brace from captain Chris Wondolowski helped lift the Quakes to their second Cali Clasico comeback in as many weeks on Monday night and Danny Hoesen’s breakaway strike sealed a 3-2 victory in the US Open Cup Quarterfinals.
Although Jelle van Damme headed the Galaxy in front after just three minutes, Chris Leitch’s men responded with gusto and dismantled the Galaxy with dynamic midfield buildup.
“It wasn’t the best start, conceding a goal, and it wasn’t the best finish but the eighty-six minutes in between were pretty good,” said Leitch. “We stayed committed to the way we want to play, moving the ball.”
Giovani Dos Santos tested Tarbell with a lovely chip from the edge of the box in the tenth minute but Chris Wondolowski netted an equalizing goal less than ten minutes later, coolly converting into the bottom corner from the top of the box.
Although their touches were somewhat loose and sloppy, the Quakes exhibited fluid build-up play through the middle. It was a combination that led to a compelling back-and-forth contest. Jahmir Hyka nearly completed the comeback with a lovely back-heel flick from Hoesen’s driven cross, rattling the crossbar from close range. Nick Lima also offered a hint of the spectacular with a brilliant strike blazing just past the top corner in the thirty-fifth minute.
The Quakes piled forward in search of the second and Hyka should have completed the comeback with the last kick of the half, only to mishit a simple tap-in from Lima’s cross.
Nevertheless, the Quakes picked up where they left off in the second period as Tommy Thompson tested Brian Rowe in the forty-ninth minute after dancing through the Galaxy back-line. His quick footwork paid off soon thereafter when he set up Wondolowski to complete the comeback with a header.
Hoesen added a third from a quick breakaway in the sixty-second minute, although the Galaxy snatched one back at the death from a fortunate own goal following ping-pong in the box. Unlike their Southern California rivals, however, the Quakes held onto their lead to book a berth in the Open Cup quarterfinals.