San Jose Earthquakes 3, LAFC 2 | 2020 MLS Match Recap
Cristian Espinoza scored his third goal of the season and assisted the 166th tally of Chris Wondolowski's MLS career, and the 10-man San Jose Earthquakes clinched their spot in the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs with a 3-2 victory over LAFC on Wednesday night at Earthquakes Stadium.
San Jose also scored through an own goal off Eduard Atuesta that leveled the score before Wondolowski put the hosts in front eight minutes before halftime while extending his lead atop the MLS all-time scoring list.
The result put the Quakes into the postseason for the first time since 2017 and only the second since 2012.
The latter strike came with LAFC up a man, after Jackson Yueill was sent off in the 61st minute for his second bookable offense during a nine-minute stretch.
- 23' - LAFC - Latif Blessing | WATCH
- 28' - SJ - Eduard Atuesta (OG) | WATCH
- 37' - SJ - Chris Wondolowski | WATCH
- 72' - SJ - Cristian Espinoza | WATCH
- 90'+4' - LAFC - Diego Rossi | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: With the Quakes securing their spot, the eight teams who will vie for the Western Conference's place in the 2020 MLS Cup are set. And while Rossi's late goal did not help LAFC's quest for a better seed in those playoffs, it may have wrapped up the 2020 MLS Golden Boot. He enters Decision Day presented by AT&T three ahead of the closest chasers.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Perhaps this is technically cheating because it came after full time, but during after a strange season, the Quakes celebrated clinching as normally as they possibly could, in view of the fans who had driven to watch the game on a big screen in the Earthquakes Stadium parking lot.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Cristian Espinoza. The Argentine's goal was only his third of the season, but boy was it a crucial one, coming against the run of play and while down a man to give San Jose some direly needed breathing room. His assist to Wondolowski earlier was nearly as good, and he could've had a second goal or assist later on in the second half with some better finishing and luck.