Three Points: Galaxy hold strong for win in El Salvador
METAPÁN, El Salvador – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano’s Three Points to the LA Galaxy’s win over Isidro Metapán
STEPHENS SAVES THE DAY FOR LA
Michael Stephens could have sulked after seeing his goal in the 45th minute disallowed by the referee, but instead, Stephens stepped up and delivered LA a victory.
The leader of the Galaxy’s younger players appeared to score in the 45th minute to put LA up 2-0, but referee Hugo Cruz chose to overrule the goal deciding that Metapán goalkeeper Fidel Mondragon had possession of the ball prior to his shot. Although the Galaxy could have wilted, Stephens helped spur on LA’s youngsters, helping Jack McBean tally a pair of goals to bring the score to 2-2.
But as the minutes ticked down, Stephens would have the last laugh as he reacted first to a Pat Noonan cross that had hit the post and scored from close range in the 79th minute to give the Galaxy, a 3-2 victory over the Salvadorans.
MCBEAN TERRORIZES METAPÁN
The LA Galaxy needed someone to step up on the field early on at the Jorge “El Calero” Suarez, and Jack McBean filled that void to a tee.
The 17-year-old forward was a handful for the Salvadorans from the start as Metapán even resorted to a defensive substitution due to McBean’s scoring chances early. The move did not pay off as McBean tallied a pair of impressive goals from close range in the 38th and 62nd minutes of play.
With the goals, McBean has now tallied three Champions League goals in his career, putting him one behind LA’s tournament leader, Juninho, who has four.
QUARTERFINAL OPPONENTS SET
With the Galaxy’s victory in El Salvador, their path to the CONCACAF Champions League title is set.
By virtue of their win, the Galaxy will enter the Quarterfinals as the fourth seed and will take on Costa Rican club Herediano who won 2 and earned the fifth seed. The winner of that series, which will be played over two legs in March with the first leg being played in Costa Rica, will face the winner of the series between the top seed Monterrey and the eighth seed Xelajú of Guatemala. Xelajú won Group 8 despite a 2-1 loss to Chivas tonight in Guadalajara.
The match will be the Galaxy’s second trip to Costa Rica in the last three years as LA faced a Marcelo Sarvas-led Alajuelense club in the CCL Group stage last season.
On the other side of the bracket, the second seed Santos Laguna of Mexico will take on the Houston Dynamo while the third seed Seattle Sounders FC will take on Mexican side Tigres.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com