Galaxy loses to San Jose, 1-0

An early goal held up as the San Jose Earthquakes upset the Galaxy, 1-0, Saturday in front of a record crowd of 10,799 at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Chris Wondolowski’s eighth goal of the season in the fourth minute was all the Earthquakes (8-6-5) needed to win their second consecutive 1-0 match.

The goal came after Bobby Convey served across the box on a ball Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts should have controlled. Ricketts called off defender A.J. DeLaGarza, who stopped just as the ball skipped past him and landed at Wondolowski’s feet.

San Jose used a high-pressure defense to confound the Galaxy, which controlled the ball the majority of the match. The Western Conference rivals entered the game with a combined 19-0-2 record when they scored first this season.

The Earthquakes had scored in the second minute in the teams’ 2-2 draw July 22, and they did it again Saturday.

It was just the kind of mistake Galaxy star Landon Donovan had hoped to avoid. He said before the game that the first-place Galaxy (13-4-4) needed to match the intensity of a hostile crowd from the start.

“We know every team that plays us as if it’s their MLS Cup final,” he said. “They’ll be more up for this game than any other game. Once we match that [intensity], we know we’re the best team in the league and we’ll let the other parts take over.”

The Galaxy almost did. It dominated the first half after falling behind but couldn’t convert on numerous chances. Donovan had the best threat in the 39th minute after stealing the ball in the center of the pitch and driving toward the goal. He was foiled by San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch.

Busch made another big save against Donovan in the 74th minute as the Galaxy pressed forward looking for an equalizer.

The game also marked the debut of San Jose’s first designated player, Geovanni, who played 20 minutes as a substitute.

But it was a replacement defense — and Busch — that helped San Jose earn three points and remain in the thick of the MLS playoff race.

The Galaxy’s Edson Buddle had a golden chance in the 83rd minute when he got inside the six-yard line as Convey made a late challenge. The MLS’ leading scorer popped the ball over the crossbar.

Busch was back in the net because starter Joe Cannon suffered a broken ankle Tuesday during training. Busch started San Jose’s first six matches after the World Cup break but was replaced after giving up an own goal in a 1-0 defeat to Colorado.