Cristian Espinoza assisted on both San Jose goals, one each for Nathan and Javier “Chofis” Lopez, in the host Earthquakes’ 2-1 win over Los Angeles FC on Sunday.
San Jose (5-7-6, 21 points) got its first home win since May 1 and ran its unbeaten streak to seven games (2-0-5).
The Earthquakes’ Jackson Yueill hit the cross bar with a shot in the ninth minute, which foreshadowed what happened moments later.
After a foul and yellow card to LAFC’s Jesus David Murillo, Espinoza’s free kick from the far right of the goal curled toward the net, where teammate Nathan stuck out a foot and deflected the ball into the net.
Nathan, an international signing from Brazil playing central defense for the Earthquakes, made a big play in the 21st minute, sliding to deflect a wide open Carlos Vela shot from directly in front of the goal and slowing the ball down enough to be saved.
San Jose made it 2-0 in the 28th minute, when Espinoza made a run into the box, stopped and centered to Lopez for an easy tap-in.
A Yueill own goal gave LAFC life in the 39th minute, but the visitors could not find an equalizer despite several opportunities.
LAFC (6-7-5, 23 points) has gone five games with a win (0-3-2), after starting the month of July with three straight victories.
A key moment for the Earthquakes came in the 44th minute, when Jeremy Ebobisse, acquired in a trade with the Portland Timbers earlier in the week, made his San Jose debut.
Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski had six saves for the Quakes. Vela took seven shots and put three on target. LAFC goalie Tomas Romero made two saves.
The Earthquakes are 4-6-0 all time against LAFC but have won the past three meetings.
–Field Level Media