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  • June 30, 2012
  • • 10:10 PM
  • • Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California
  • Referee: H. Grajeda
  • • Attendance: 50391

San Jose Earthquakes 4-3 LA Galaxy: California Clasico lives up to its billing

San Jose Earthquakes 4-3 LA Galaxy: California Clasico lives up to its billing

Thearon W. Henderson

The Earthquakes scored three unanswered goals to beat the Galaxy 4-3 in the California Clasico, with Chris Wondolowski's backheel providing the winner.

"Goonies never say die," is the rallying call of the San Jose Earthquakes. It's a fitting one given four stoppage-time winners and 12 goals scored after the 75th minute this season. The 'Quakes wrapped things up comparatively early against the LA Galaxy, roaring back from being two goals down in the first half to win 4-3.

Steven Lenhart opened the scoring. Josh Saunders spilled a swerving Marvin Chavez shot, and Lenhart tapped home with the outside of his left foot. He celebrated by doing pull-ups on the goal frame.

David Beckham equalized on the week he was informed he wouldn't be representing Great Britain at the London Olympics. His flat near-post free kick whizzed into the net before Jon Busch even took a step.

Two Jason Hernandez mistakes gave the Galaxy a commanding lead. First, the central defender deflected a Hector Jimenez cross past his own goalkeeper. Next, his lazy backpass bounced straight to Mike Magee, who helped set up Landon Donovan's goal. Jimenez, who scored and was ejected the last time these teams met, assisted.

Victor Bernardez smashed home a Chavez corner minutes before the break to keep the 'Quakes within touching distance.

At halftime the Galaxy exited the field ahead, and Busch exited the game with a black eye. He later returned with a white bandage crookedly wrapped around his head.

Seconds after the restart, San Jose equalized. Lenhart flicked on a long ball and Sam Cronin poked it into the goal before the on-rushing Saunders could reach him.

The Galaxy thought they should have had a penalty when a Todd Dunivant shot hit a San Jose arm in the box, but the referee didn't call it. Instead, Chris Wondolowski put the Earthquakes ahead. A slight Ramiro Corrales header deflected another Chavez corner, and Wondo reacted quickest, his backheel coming from a few yards out.

Wondolowski celebrated his league-leading 14th goal by smashing his fist into his chest repeatedly, adrenaline dripping out of his pores. The 50,000 fans marked the lead by doing the Poznan in the stands of Stanford Stadium.

Plenty of drama remained, but the Galaxy couldn't claw a goal back. Eventually frustration got the better of them, with Beckham petulantly kicking a ball at the prone Cronin, earning a yellow. At the final whistle he had to be dragged away from berating several Earthquake players.

With the win, San Jose keeps the best record in MLS.

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