By Alex Baker
The first California Clasico of the 2010 season finished as a tightly wound 2-2 draw on a mild summer night in front of 17,000 plus fans at the Home Depot Center in Carson. Landon Donovan was again in the starting lineup for the Galaxy who had returned to their winning ways with a 2-1 victory, away to DC United last weekend.
The Quakes also went into the match on good form, having defeated the Philadelphia Union 2-1 in their last league outing before fighting Tottenham Hotspur to a scoreless draw in a friendly earlier this week.
San Jose took a smash and grab early lead in the 2nd minute when Galaxy keeper Donovan Rickets spilled a shot from Cornell Glen allowing Bobby Convey to get on to the rebound and coolly tuck it into the back of the net.
Landon Donovan almost gave the Galaxy an equalizer in the 9th minute, shooting from distance and forcing San Jose keeper Jon Busch into a save.
Galaxy won the first corner of the night in the 14th minute. Donovan crossed the ball in, only to put it just behind and out of reach of his teammates, waiting in the box.
Cornell Glen nearly doubled the Quakes lead in the 18th minute shooting from the outside left and forcing Donovan Rickets into another save.
Juninho could have given LA their equalizer a moment later when he found space in front of goal only to put his shot wide. Galaxy won another corner in the 21st. Donovan put the ball in but the danger was cleared. Buddle squandered a chance when he shot and missed from close range a minute later.
San Jose, for their part, were doing a good job of absorbing the pressure applied by their hosts. Not content to sit back and defend, they continued to press the Galaxy’s defense on the counter. It nearly paid off for Brandon McDonald in the 28th minute when he shot from outside right forcing Rickets into another save.
Buddle almost scored again in the dying seconds of the first half when re received a ball in and headed it just high sending it into the top netting.
Galaxy could have been awarded a penalty kick, when Donovan was brought down in the box in the opening minutes of the second half. However the referee was unmoved.
Dema Kovalenko forced Busch into a save two minutes later, winning another Galaxy corner, which resulted in a near goal from Buddle. LA were awarded a direct free kick a moment later courtesy of a reckless tackle from Bobby Burling that earned him a yellow card. Donovan launched the ball over the wall only to have it sail straight into the waiting arms of Busch.
The Galaxy ‘s equalizer finally came in the 59th minute when Buddle, unmarked in front of the goal headed in an overhead cross from Donovan, beating Busch and leveling the score at 1-1.
However San Jose grabbed the lead again in the 72nd minute when McDonald got onto the rebound of a shot Convey had taken, and fired it past a helpless Rickets, to make it 2-1 in favor of the visitors.
Galaxy could have equalized in the 77th minute later when Donovan crossed the ball in for an unmarked Alan Gordon who just failed to connect with his header.
Meanwhile Cornell Glen continued to cause problems for the Galaxy’s defense. In the 84th minute he broke down the left, muscled past three defenders and fired a shot across goal that beat Rickets and went just wide of the far post.
Galaxy’s Tristan Bowen made a somewhat desperate effort in the 87th, shooting from distance and going wide of the near post. Clearly, time was no longer on Galaxy’s side.
The Galaxy’s Shawn Franklin was shown a yellow card in the 89th minute for bringing down Convey.
Just before the start of injury time, Donovan, true to his World Cup, form grabbed the last minute equalizer from close range, tying it up at 2-2
The final whistle blew just four minutes later and the score remained level at 2-2.