Three Points: LA Galaxy fall 4-0 to Isidro Metapán to set up CCL quarterfinal date with Club Tijuana
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano provides his Three Points to the Galaxy’s 4-0 defeat to Isidro Metapán. With the defeat, LA remain at the top of Group 8 with nine points and finish the group stage as the sixth seed in the tournament setting up a match with third seeded Club Tijuana.
MUNOZ SCORES FOUR IN FIRST HALF TO SEAL WIN FOR METAPAN
Isidro Metapán had only pride to play for in their group stage finale against the LA Galaxy and that was more than enough for them to take advantage of a porous LA defense on Thursday evening.
Panamanian forward Nicolas Muñoz led the charge for Metapán with four goals in the first half to demolish the Galaxy 4-0 at the Estadio Cuscatlán. Metapán controlled the tempo early in the first half and in the 29th minute, Muñoz broke through with a well-struck freekick that caught goalkeeper Brian Rowe out of position and snuck in at the near post. Less than a minute later, an errant deflection in LA’s defensive end fell to Munoz, who doubled Metapán’s lead.
He wasn’t finished there, however, as he again capitalized on a defensive turnover from LA in the 33rd minute and slotted a shot in after rounding Rowe to complete his hat trick. Munoz completed his virtuoso performance in the 41st minute with a fourth goal, chipping Rowe from the edge of the box to seal the rout.
GALAXY ATTACK OUT OF SYNC FROM THE START
Nicolas Munoz’s finishing prowess may have been the reason that the Galaxy dropped a crushing 4-0 result, but the Galaxy struggled throughout to gain any sort of rhythm on either sides of the ball.
After a Jose Villarreal chance in the game’s opening seconds, Metapán dominated possession as the Galaxy were hard pressed to test the Salvadorian net. With little to no possession, Galaxy forwards Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal found themselves unable to create opportunities and when they did get possession, poor passing caused LA to cede possession just as quickly.
Emblematic of LA’s struggles, the Galaxy were unable to generate another real opportunity until the 75th minute when a Jose Villarreal header was parried away by ‘keeper Fidel Mondragon. Despite the dangerous attempt, the Galaxy could not parlay that attempt into further momentum as they failed to consistently test Mondragon for the remainder of the match aside from a Robbie Rogers shot in the closing minutes that rattled the woodwork.
LA GALAXY TO FACE CLUB TIJUANA IN CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTERFINALS
The LA Galaxy will take on Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals following their 4-0 defeat to Isidro Metapán.
By allowing four goals in the loss, the Galaxy finish with nine points and a +2 goal difference. Arabe Unido and Alajuelense each finished with nine points as well, but with better goal differentials, they earned the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds respectively while the Galaxy claim the No. 6 seed, which will give them a date with Club Tijuana, who claimed 10 points in Group 7 to earne the Baja California based club the No. 3 seed. The close proximity of Tijuana, a mere three hours away from StubHub Center should help LA planning wise, but the Xolos will present a tough test for Bruce Arena's squad. Tijuana boast a lineup that includes U.S. internationals Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo, former Galaxy star Herculez Gomez, and one-time Galaxy Academy player Paul Arriola among others.
If LA are able to advance past Tijuana, they’ll be the second MLS team to knock off a Liga MX club in a two-leg CCL series as Seattle Sounders FC defeated Tigres UNAL in the 2012-13 CCL Quarterfinals. Interestingly enough, that series was also a No. 3 seed vs. a No. 6 seed with third seeded Seattle defeating sixth seed Tigres.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com