San Jose Earthquakes 0, LA Galaxy 1 | US Open Cup Match Recap
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Jose Villarreal scored his first career US Open Cup goal and the LA Galaxy kept their perfect Open Cup record against their archrivals with a 1-0 victory against the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium on Wednesday.
The Galaxy, who have reached the tournament’s quarterfinals for the first time since 2011, are now 5-0 in USOC play against San Jose. LA will face Real Salt Lake in the quarterfinals in three weeks’ time.
It was a measure of revenge for the visitors, who were thumped 3-1 in league play before a sellout Stanford Stadium crowd on Saturday. And it marked LA’s first win away from StubHub Center in any competition since August 20 of last year, when they beat Colorado 4-3 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The Galaxy put San Jose’s second-unit backline under pressure from the outset, and went on top in the sixth minute. Midfielder Kenney Walker launched a lead pass from his side of the center circle while Villarreal streaked behind the Quakes’ JJ Koval – who has moved up the depth chart at center back with last week’s trade of Ty Harden – to deftly bring down the ball with his right foot. Villarreal struck with his left foot off the bounce, slotting to the near post past San Jose goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.
Quakes forward Mark Sherrod briefly appeared to have tied things up in the 30th minute, heading Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi’s 40-yard free kick off LA goalkeeper Brian Rowe and into the net before being whistled offside.
San Jose midfielder Leandro Barrera curled a 22-yard shot just outside the far post in the 35th minute.
Two minutes after that, Villarreal did well to hold off Koval in a physical battle for another long pass, but pushed his 16-yard effort over the crossbar.
San Jose opened more brightly in the second half, earning four corners and their first official shot on goal in the opening 10 minutes after intermission.
Sherrod nearly got a point-blank touch to Barrera’s teasing 58th-minute cross after it floated over Rowe at the near post. Barrera ran on to Cordell Cato’s cross-field delivery 10 minutes later, but his wide-open effort from 15 yards slid inches wide.
Former San Jose forward Alan Gordon looked to have doubled LA’s lead in the 82nd minute, but Meredith was judged to have grabbed the ball before it fully crossed the goal line.
The Quakes had two penalty shouts on Leonardo ignored by the referee in the 83rd minute and never got any closer to an equalizer despite going to a 3-5-2 formation in the final 11 minutes of regulation.