The LA Galaxy picked up an impressive three points against Western Conference rivals San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night, triumphing 2-1 in the Cali Clasico.
The Los Angeles club won just their second game of the season as second-half goals from Dejan Joveljic and Martin Cacares stunned while the Galaxy defense impressed by limiting MVP candidate Cristian Espinoza’s impact on the game.
But the final scoreline doesn’t tell the full story, with the Galaxy dominating the majority of the match before failing to put chances away. The win is also the Galaxy’s second straight win in all competitions (they defeated the Seattle Sounders 3-1 in the U.S. Open Cup last week) and lifts them from the bottom of the West.
“I’m very happy because we won the game, finally. Two games in a row, three points,” said striker Joveljic. “For us it’s very important to reach, to make it to the playoffs. That’s our goal for the season. And after that, everything is possible. Hopefully one step more than last year. Even better, two steps more.”
Upon coming off the bench and scoring the 90′ goal to put the Galaxy 2-0 up, the 23-year-old broke into wild celebrations with his teammates: “I mean, everyone needs the support like I had. If every player has the support like I had, I think that sky’s the limit,” the Serbia international said.
The young forward wants to start more matches, as all young players strive to do. But head coach Greg Vanney believes he has a special role in the Galaxy squad being a ‘super-sub.’
“I know he doesn’t want to be that guy always and forever, but he has certainly carved out a niche for himself that is very special,” Vanney said. “I really enjoyed it tonight. I felt like I was quite comfortable and calm, because I felt like the guys were quite comfortable inside of the game. And for me, it was a game of a few details that we could clean up here or there along the way.”
Vanney believes that his side’s defending is what helped them push on to victory and that it will be key to winning games moving forward.
“I wasn’t even that concerned that we missed a few chances early, because I felt like we were in control of things, and they weren’t hurting us defensively.
“I know we can score goals. But if we defend like we did tonight, we’re going to win many more games. I just firmly believe that with our group, because we have a lot of good soccer players, but defending is something we need to concentrate on.”