Thearon W. Henderson
The LA Galaxy scored three times in San Jose to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg and advance to the Western Conference finals.
After losing 1-0 at home in the first leg of their Western Conference semifinal, the LA Galaxy looked dead and buried. They looked old and tired, but more than anything, they were going on the road in the second leg to play the Supporters' Shield winners in the second leg. The defending champions were supposed to be dead.
Apparently, nobody bothered to tell the Galaxy that it was over for them. Two goals by Robbie Keane and a tally by Mike Magee overturned that deficit in a 3-1 second leg victory, which was good for a 3-2 aggregate win that sends them to the Western Conference finals and eliminates the Quakes.
The trouble for San Jose started early when Victor Bernardez went down with right knee sprain that forced him off. Ike Opara came in for him and right away the Galaxy took advantage of the Quakes defense without their best defender.
In the 21st minute Keane came to the middle of the field and was 25 yards out waiting for someone to close him down. When Opara failed to, Keane had a go and it was a great one, rattling the inside of the post before bouncing over the line to put the Galaxy in front.
Keane had only leveled the tie on aggregate, but in the 34th minute he put them in front. A gorgeous counterattack by LA put the ball at Landon Donovan's feet, who slipped Keane in. The Irishman simply sidestepped the keeper and tapped it into the net for the LA aggregate lead.
LA wasn't done though. Magee got involved, clinically finishing a great drag back and the Galaxy were 3-0 up in the match, 3-1 on aggregate.
The Quakes struggled to do much in the second half, throwing men forward but failing to find a goal. They finally broke through with Alan Gordon, who brought them within one on aggregate, but that was it. Their other chances went begging, with a late opportunity going over the bar as the Galaxy went to San Jose and eliminated the MLS's best team in the regular season. The defending champs aren't dead yet.