LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The San Jose Earthquakes were eliminated from the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 3-1 defeat to LAFC on Thursday night. San Jose battled against Major League Soccer's top team despite missing several key starters, including U.S. National Team defender Nick Lima and Panamanian midfielder Anibal Godoy.
Quakes midfielder Vako scored the match's opening goal in the seventh minute, but the Quakes were unable to get a second past LAFC keeper Pablo Signiega, who made eight saves. LAFC scored the equalizer before halftime and finished two additional chances in the second half.
The Earthquakes return home to face the Houston Dynamo at Avaya Stadium on Wednesday, June 26 (7:15 p.m.), presented by Erik's Delicafe. The match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Bay Area, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.
Vako scored his third goal of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, tied for the fourth most in the tournament. He is one of just three MLS players with at least three goals in the competition thus far.
The Quakes now hold a 18-16 all-time record in the U.S. Open Cup.
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup - Round of 16
Los Angeles Football Club 3 - 1 San Jose Earthquakes
June 20, 2019 - Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.
Scoring Summary: SJ - Vako (Cristian Espinoza) 7; LAFC - Diego Rossi (Lee Nguyen) 35; LAFC - Adama Diomande (Diego Rossi) 60; LAFC - Carlos Vela (Tristan Blackmon) 85.
Misconduct Summary: SJ - Marcos Lopez (caution) 31; SJ - Judson (caution) 52; LAFC - Eduard Atuesta (caution) 66; SJ - Tommy Thompson (caution) 90+1.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: Andrew Tarbell; Marcos Lopez, Francois Affolter, Guram Kashia, Tommy Thompson; Judson, Jackson Yueill (Eric Calvillo 78); Magnus Eriksson, Vako, Cristian Espinoza; Chris Wondolowski.
SHOTS: 20; SHOTS ON TARGET: 9; SAVES: 6; FOULS: 15; CORNERS: 5;OFFSIDES: 2
LOS ANGELES FOOTBALL CLUB: PabloSisniega; Tristan Blackmon, Silva, Eddie Segura, Jordan Harvey; Latif Blessing, Eduard Atuesta, Lee Nguyen (Josh Perez 84); Carlos Vela, Adama Diomande (Christian Ramirez 61), Diego Rossi.
SHOTS: 17; SHOTS ON TARGET: 9; SAVES: 8; FOULS: 9; CORNERS: 6;OFFSIDES: 1
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH MATIAS ALMEYDA
On the match:
"I thought it was one of the most unjust results for various reasons. First because our team played very well and the opposing team is much deeper than ours. We pressured a team that is the best in the league. After we were up 1-0, there was a play on [Cristian] Espinoza, I'm not sure if it was a foul or not. Around then is when the game began to change. I just coach the players that I have and today they played well."
On the Earthquakes' improvement:
"There are always things we can improve. I think our team has changed a lot luckily. It's a competitive team, one that can play toe-to-toe with any opponent. Today, we went up against a great team with great players, stars in the world of soccer. We are looking and analyzing our work on the field. We would have liked to move on, and I think we created the right opportunities to move on."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI
On the result:
"I thought that we had some bright moments. It's always a tough place to play, LA's a good team. They came out, they're very dynamic, especially going forward, but I thought we played well. We created a lot of opportunities; their keeper made a couple of great saves and changed the game in that sense. With their skill, their players, their team, they finish their chances and have that killer instinct."
On how the Quakes have turned their season around:
"We definitely turned a page this season and this team. We had belief, it took us a while to finally understand the way we want to play and need to play to be successful, it took us five games. It was an eye-opening experience, that home game against LA[FC] and they gave us a good whipping, but now we know what it takes, we know how to play against them. They're good, they're a great team, that's why they're first and that's why we're chasing them. With that being said, we're not scared of anyone anymore. We're not changing our way, we're going to be who we are and we have an identity now and we're going to continue that."