Palo Alto, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Gysai Zardes' second-half strike proved to be the difference on Saturday as the Los Angeles Galaxy came away with a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes in the latest edition of the California Clasico at Stanford Stadium.
Past editions of the Clasico have produced a plethora of goals, but Saturday's first-half was a physical battle which produced few quality scoring chances as the sides went into the locker room on level terms.
The Galaxy claimed the lead in the 61st minutes when Marcelo Sarvas expertly brought down a long clearance on the edge of the penalty area. Zardes recognized his opportunity and made an intelligent run in behind Sarvas, who deftly laid the ball off to Zardes and he ripped it into the top right corner of the net.
Despite falling behind, San Jose continued to create scoring chances, with an excellent opportunity coming three minutes from time when Sam Cronin lofted a long free kick into the area that fell to the head of Steven Lenhart, who directed it on goal with pace, but Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo came up with a huge stop.
The 'Quakes had one final great chance with a corner kick in the dying seconds of stoppage time, but the attempt came to nothing as the corner kick was calmly cleared away by the Galaxy defense.
The win is the Galaxy's fifth of the season, and sees the club improve to 20 points on the campaign, while San Jose remains in eighth place in the Western Conference with 16 points.