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LA Galaxy Win Cali Clásico With The Help Of First Half Red Card

CARSON, CA (March 19, 2016) – After an uninspiring loss last weekend to the Colorado Rapids, the LA Galaxy were able to bounce back with a 3-1 victory over a 10-man San Jose Earthquakes squad.

The match got off to a rocky start for the home side, as minutes in, midfielder Steven Gerrard came up limping. By the 5th minute, he was subbed out for Baggio Husidic. The Galaxy were already working with a shuffled lineup. Giovani dos Santos was unavailable, so head coach Bruce Arena chose to mix it up: midfielder Sebastian Lletget started at striker next to Robbie Keane. Mike Magee played at right midfield and Gyasi Zardes at left midfield.

The two sides traded blows throughout the first half. The Galaxy were able to out-posses the Quakes as the first half went on. Four yellow card were handed out, but not in typical California Clásico fashion. Head official Ismail Elfath whistled for fouls and yellow cards early and often but did not establish consistency. In the 11th minute, Magee was given a caution for a clip on Simon Dawkins that appeared to be an innocuous foul. Jelle Van Damme was given a caution for a similar foul later in the half.

In the 41st minute, Andrés Imperiale was given a yellow for pulling down Keane. Based on the previous standard set, one could argue that foul would be a red card, even though normal judgement would point to that being a yellow card and just a yellow card. The peculiar officiating came to a fever pitch in the final minute of the half as Simon Dawkins was given a straight red card for a two-legged scissors tackle on Lletget. Dawkins took Lletget down and didn’t appear to get the ball. Still, it seemed like a harsh red card to most.

The half ended 0-0 with the Quakes down to 10 men. The best chance came in the 29th minute as Nigel de Jong forced David Bingham to make decent save.

San Jose came out very compact in the second half with the intent to counter. Up a man, the Galaxy did a good job keeping and moving the ball. Full backs Robbie Rogers and Ashley Cole got more involved in the attack. The home side found their breakthrough in the 57th minute. Keane found a streaking Ashley Cole who delivered a cross across goal. Jelle Van Damme redirected it back towards Zardes who put it in the back of the net.

The Galaxy seemed to relax and find their rhythm after that. Five minutes later, Van Damme sent a long cross into the box towards a streaking Magee. The ball took a deflection off defender Kip Colby towards Zardes. The Hawthorne, CA native sent it towards goal and it got past Bingham. With that, Zardes had a brace.

San Jose were able to get one back through Chris Wondolowski in the 89th minute. Quakes started a counter attack and got a 2-on-1 after a poor challenge by Van Damme. The ball pinged around in the Galaxy box before it found Wondolowski, who finished the chance off.

Keane removed all doubt in stoppage time however. One minute into stoppage time, Victor Bernardez stuck a foot out on Keane, who was inside the box. Keane fell to the ground and earned a penalty. The Irish International converted on the penalty to make it 3-1. Keane is now two for two on PKs this season.

Both teams are now 2-1-0 on the season. The Galaxy travel to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps on Saturday at 7 pm PST. The Quakes are at home next week to D.C. United on Saturday at 7:30 pm PST.


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