[MLS PLAYOFFS: Los Angeles-San Jose] The San Jose Earthquakes did it again, getting a Victor Bernardez goal on a free kick -- aided by some poor defending -- in the fourth minute of stoppage time to beat the Los Angeles, 1-0, in the first leg of their semifinal series. The goal was the 10th the Quakes have scored in stoppage time -- and a repeat of the previous meeting this season at the Home Depot Center when the Quakes won 3-2 on a goal by Alan Gordonin the ... 94th minute.
-- Bernardez, who was cramping up at the end of the game, appeared to have little chance on his shot from 30 yards, but defender Omar Gonzalez jumped, allowing the ball to deflect off him and go through to goalie Josh Saunders, who let the ball slip under his grasp.
-- Saunders took the blame for the goal. “Basically, you're trying to see through the wall,” he said. “The ball goes through the wall, deflects, takes a weird spin and you're trying ton react based on what's happening in front of you. My play was not acceptable. I'll take the blame for covering the goal and, unfortunately, that's what happened.”
-- The Galaxy wasn't happy with referee Ricardo Salazar's decision to call a foul on Marcelo Sarvas to set up Bernardez's free kick. Said Coach Bruce Arena, "If that's a foul in this game, then there's 100 fouls."
-- The first three meetings produced 16 goals -- 3-2 and 4-3 San Jose wins and 2-2 tie -- but Sunday's game appeared to headed toward a scoreless tie when Bernardez broke the deadlock. The best chance either team had up until then was Robbie Keane's shot off the woodwork in the 86th minute.
-- The Quakes had already used up their three subs when Bernardez started cramping up. The only sub for Los Angeles came when Arena took off the quiet David Beckham in the 78th minute for Edson Buddle.
Second leg: Wednesday, 11 p.m. ET (ESPN2).
Nov. 4 in Carson, Calif.
Los Angeles 0 San Jose 1. Goal: Bernandez 94+.
Los Angeles --Saunders, Dunivant, Franklin, Meyer, Gonzalez, Juninho, Magee, Donovan, Beckham (Buddle, 78), Sarvas, Keane.
San Jose -- Busch, Hernandez, Corrales (Salinas, 69), Bernardez, Beitashour, Morrow, Cronin, Chavez (Dawkins, 59), Baca, Lenhart (Gordon, 65), Wondolowski.