It’s only fitting that the first game ever at Levi’s Stadium involved teams from San Francisco and Seattle—even if it wasn’t the 49ers and the Sea Hawks.
The San Jose Earthquakes grabbed a 1-0 win over the first-place Seattle Sounders on Saturday night thanks to a remarkable goal from Yanick Djalo and some second-half heroics from Jon Busch.
“He’s a consummate professional, said head coach Mark Watson of the squad’s goal keeper. “He tends to make things look quite easy. He’s always in the right spot.”
The Quakes opened up a 1-0 edge in the 42nd minute when Djalo latched on to the end of a pass from Chris Wondolowski. The attacker calmly controlled the ball and then cooly side-footed his shot past the Sounders Stefan Frei.
The Sounders had an array of chances to find an equalizer in the final 45 minutes, but were never able to find a breakthrough against Busch. The best save of all came in the 79th minute when Busch deflected a laser from Gonzalo Pineda, which was on its way into the top corner of the net.
“He was great for us again,” said Watson. “We were under a lot of pressure—especially in the last 10 minutes. He continually came up big for us.”
Clint Dempsey said that the Sounders simply were’t good enough.
“I felt like I was able to get in good spots today,” said the national team captain. “I had some good looks at goal I would have liked to be better in front of goal. I felt maybe I could have put one of my chances away tonight.”
With the Quakes having now secured three positive results in a row, Busch gave credit to the combination of Wondolowski and Djalo.
“Adding Djalo on top underneath Wondo, we now have that speed factor of getting in behind teams. And it happened again tonight that’s where we got our goal from.”
“So, we’ve added that dangerous piece.”
Following the win, San Jose had now climbed into eighth place in the Western Conference standings with 23 point, moving ahead of Chivas USA on goal differential.
Up next the Quakes take on the Los Angeles Galaxy on Friday, August 8 at the StubHub Center in the second installment of the California Clasico. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm. The game can be seen on NBC Sports and heard on KLIV 1590.
Note: Before the games, the Quakes announced that Steven Lenhart underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Friday at Stanford. The forward, who has a history of chronic knee injuries, is expected to miss four to six weeks. Watson also confirmed in his post game press conference that Djalo has sustained a minor quad strain.