SAN JOSE — The Galaxy has a tough hill to climb, but the club has found some momentum.
Dejan Joveljic scored on a penalty kick in the 61st minute and the Galaxy held off the San Jose Earthquakes, 3-2, on Wednesday night to continue its attempt to climb into playoff position.
Tyler Boyd gave the Galaxy (7-10-7, 28 points) the lead in the 16th minute, using an assist from Raheem Edwards to score his sixth goal of the season.
Jeremy Ebobisse put San Jose (9-9-8, 35 points) ahead 2-1 with a goal in the 31st minute. It came two minutes after an own-goal by Galaxy defender Calegari knotted the score. Jamiro Monteiro picked up an assist on Ebobisse’s eighth goal of the season.
The Galaxy scored the equalizer five minutes into the second half when Riqui Puig took a pass from Edwin Cerrillo and scored his fifth goal of the season.
Joveljic’s third goal of the season came after Edwards was fouled by San Jose defender Miguel Trauco.
“I know he’s been super-stressed out by not providing goals and it doesn’t matter how it comes for guys who are supposed to score goals,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said. “Just hitting the net one time and that emotion is important.”
It was the second straight win and the fourth in the past five MLS matches for the Galaxy, which is five points behind ninth-place FC Dallas for the final Western Conference playoff berth with 10 games left in the regular season. After an abysmal start to the season, the Galaxy is 5-1-4 in its last 10 MLS matches.
“It’s a huge win for us,” Vanney said. “We grinded and saw some things through there on the end. We’ve been on a great stretch. You take away the (Leagues Cup) tournament, which is the tournament, and we’ve been on a really good stretch as a group. We continue to show the fight that we’re going to need down the stretch.”
Jonathan Bond saved four shots for the Galaxy. Daniel de Sousa Britto had two saves for the Earthquakes, who lost their second straight match.
The Galaxy next hosts the fourth-place Houston Dynamo (11-10-5, 38 points) on Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park.
“We feel confident,” Edwards said. “This is kind of reminiscent of last year. We needed points toward the end of the season. Houston is on fire right now, but coming to our stadium, we want to impose our will and continue to play the way we’re playing and get as many points as we can. It’s going to be a tough challenge, but it’s a challenge we’re up for.”
Vanney hopes his team can carry the momentum from one match to the next.
“We’re going to turn around in a couple days and you’ve got to lace them up and do it again,” Vanney said. “That’s this time of year. We’ll take the energy from this one and turn it around Saturday.”
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