To those devoted souls who think soccer is a religion, perhaps the stats are the hymns sung in praise of the mystery. We attach great significance to stats but at the end of the game do they really explain anything, and don't we continue to have faith in our team regardless of who did what, when, where, and how many times?
One thing is for sure, last night’s 2-2 tie in the California Clasico between the San Jose Earthquakes and the LA Galaxy made a complete mystery of the stats.
Right from the kick off LA took and held possession of the ball, and ended the game with 69.8% of possession, a stat that was earned and thoroughly deserved thanks to consistent crisp passing and great movement off the ball.
LA had 10 corners to San Jose 0. There were so many balls into the San Jose area, 49 in all, that at times it resembled mortar fire. Towards the end of the game the San Jose defenders looked in serious need of flak jackets.
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
Quakes keeper Jon Busch made 5 saves to Jaime Penedo’s 1, and that lone save came in time added-on. The other times Penedo touched the ball was to fish it out the back of the net.
I will make you fishers of men.
Overall passing accuracy for LA was a very respectable 87%, while the Quakes managed just 67%.
And some fell on stony ground.
Landon Donovan was very much the focus of attention as this was his first game since his announcement to retire at the end of this season. And lo he wondered many days and nights in the wilderness before finding himself.
San Jose may well have lured the money lenders back into the temple in order to pay for Designated Player Perez Garcia but he repaid their faith by hitting a quite miraculous goal with practically his first touch of the ball.
The final score might not have seemed fair based on how the teams displayed their talents but goals in the net are all that count in the final judgment of the fulltime whistle. Truly this match showed that the Game moves in mysterious ways.