CONCACAF: Galaxy 1 Club Tijuana 0
The final match of the CONCACAF quarter-final weekend concluded in Los Angeles. The Galaxy, who are coming off a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake, faced Club Tijuana. Like Sporting KC, the Galaxy were looking to erase their shaky start to the season and get some motivation from a major win.
It took Samuel Rosa just 11 minutes to break the deadlock and put LA up 1-0. Robbie Keane fielded a marvelous pass from Marcelo Sarvas. Keane deflected the pass with his midsection and caught the Tijuana defense out of position, leaving Rosa with the simple one time goal.
Keane and the rest of the LA squad continued pressuring their Mexican competitors. With most of the possession going to the Galaxy, they tried to take advantage. Despite a few opportunities, no goals were produced. Keane had one shot at the end of the half from the right byline, but was unable to take finish.
The second half appeared to be a whole new match as Tijuana came out swinging. All the Galaxy could do was fall back and try their best to secure their one goal lead. Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo held his ground with great skill and some even better luck.
In the 61st minute Penedo misjudged a Dario Benedetto cross and found himself out of position. Instead of knocking the ball out of danger, he knocked it into midfield, where it bounced off a grounded attacker. While the ball slowly rolled toward the net he got up, chased it down and then palmed it away.
Yellow cards were on display for both teams as a total of six cards were handed out to six separate players. Four of the six cards were handed out in the second half as the teams started getting more physical. No players will miss the second leg of the tournament through suspension.
This game mirrored the other two CONCACAF games for two reasons. Reason one, no team scored more than a point in any of the matches. This shows either the teams are well matched, or neither offense is up to full speed. Secondly, and most importantly, the MLS teams seem to shut down in the second half.
San Jose was the exception, but both the Galaxy and Sporting KC came out guns blazing to take the lead, only to get dominated in the second half. In order to progress farther in the championship, MLS teams are going to have to stay strong for the full 90 minutes.