Chris Wondolowski and Cristian Espinoza scored goals as the San Jose Earthquakes clinched a playoff berth with a 3-2 home victory over LAFC on Wednesday in a game delayed three days because of COVID-19 concerns.
San Jose (8-8-6, 30 points, 1.36 points per game) is 3-1-1 its past five contests as it roared back into playoff contention. It will be the Earthquakes' first playoff appearance since 2017.
LAFC (9-8-4, 31 points, 1.48 ppg) got a first-half goal from Latif Blessing and a goal Diego Rossi in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time, his MLS-leading 14th. The defeat dealt a blow to the team's chances of finishing in a top four spot in the Western Conference, which would secure a home game in the first round of the playoffs.
Wondolowski struck a right-footed volley in the 37th minute for a 2-1 lead, his seventh goal of the season. He boosted his MLS-record career goal total to 166 by scoring for the third time in his past two games after an 11-game scoreless streak.
With San Jose down a man after a red card to Jackson Yueill in the 61st minute, Espinoza helped seal the victory when he scored his third of the season against the run of play in the 72nd minute. He also notched his ninth assist of the season on Wondolowski's goal.
LAFC took a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute, when Blessing scored his first goal of the season. It came in his first start since Oct. 14, after which he appeared as a substitute twice and sat out one game entirely.
The Earthquakes tied the game 1-1 in the 28th minute on an LAFC own goal from Eduard Atuesta. San Jose's Carlos Fierro tipped a ball toward the Galaxy goal, and it deflected off Atuesta's leg and into the net.
LAFC did not divulge who tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days, but they were without eight players because of either injury or virus issues: goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega, defenders Mohamed El-Munir and Andy Najar, midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye and forwards Danny Musovski, Mahala Opoku, Adrien Perez and Bradley Wright-Phillips.