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Campos penalty, Johnson goal lift 'Quakes 2-1

Jun 21, 2009 - 12:10 AM By GEOFF LEPPER STATS MLS Correspondent

OAKLAND, Calif. (STATS) - San Jose Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop said he had "a gut feeling" about inserting rookie forward Pablo Campos back into his starting lineup for Saturday's match against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

After Campos' performance, it's more than just a feeling.

Campos created and converted a penalty kick in the 6th minute and helped set up Ryan Johnson's second-half insurance goal as the Earthquakes held on for a 2-1 victory over the Galaxy.

Campos, who had started only twice in the Earthquakes' previous six matches, now has two goals and one assist in his MLS career ? all against the Galaxy.

"I thought he played very well against them last time," Yallop said. "We're working on parts of his game that are unnatural (to him), but he's trying to do the right things. He came back with terrific aggression on the ball."

So too did the San Jose defense, which came in having allowed the most goals of any MLS team (26), but withstood the Galaxy's pressure in the final 15 minutes.

"If we start putting up victories again, we're going to look for the playoffs," Campos said. "That's what we have to do."

Of the 12 points San Jose (3-8-3) has collected this season, seven have come in its last four matches. And the Earthquakes play five of their next seven at home.

"Looking at the last four games, we've won two, lost one and tied one, and really, we could have had three wins and a loss, which is a good run in this league," Yallop said. "I feel like we're on the right path."

Campos once again forced the issue early, this time carrying the ball on a strong drive into the Galaxy penalty box. That led to a sweeping leg tackle by defender Greg Berhalter, which drew an immediate whistle from referee Baldomero Toledo.

Campos sent a low, skimming penalty kick to the right of goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who dove to no avail.

"One more time, another goal," Campos said. "I think the coach believed in me."

Campos made believers of the 17,128 on hand in the 54th minute, when he redirected a long cross off the opposite sideline by right back Chris Leitch. Campos' header floated across the goalmouth to Johnson, who caught up with it at the right post and knocked it home.

The Galaxy (2-3-9) had been hoping to right themselves after seeing a 10-match unbeaten streak end with a 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake last weekend, but instead suffered a second consecutive defeat despite Jovan Kirovski's first goal of the season.

Los Angeles was playing without forward Landon Donovan, the team's leading goal-scorer, who is with the US national team at the Confederations Cup in South Africa.

"We were a little suspect in defending in the box today and it cost us the game," Los Angeles coach Bruce Arena said. "You can't say, 'It would have been nice to have Landon Donovan today.' You can't use that as an excuse."

The Galaxy pulled back to within a goal in the 65th minute off a set piece that began with a free kick near midfield. Mike Magee's searching pass found the head of Alan Gordon, and he laid the ball off perfectly to Kirovski, who had shed marking back Brandon McDonald and hammered it home from point-blank range.

Los Angeles, which had scored nine goals after the 75th minute in its first 13 matches, was unable to find an equalizer against San Jose's much-maligned defense, although not for lack of trying. The Galaxy flooded the box with taller targets, but despite the heightened danger, they never forced San Jose goalkeeper Joe Cannon to make a save.