LA Galaxy gain second straight CCL win to lead Group 8
LA Galaxy 1 Isidro Metapan 0 – 18 September
After victory by 2-0 over Cartagines of Costa Rica in their opening CONCACAF Champions League Group 8 game LA put themselves in total control of their own destiny by following that up with a second victory over Isidro Metapan of El Salvador.
Coach Bruce Arena looking ahead to the weekends MLS encounter made wholesale changes with only six players who played in their last game in the squad and all of them listed on the substitutes bench.
That decision was vindicated as Laurent Courtois who was acquired in July after he was released by the team across the hall, Chivas USA scored the all important goal after only 6 minutes, which was his first for the club.
After a throw-in from left back Greg Cochrane found Jose Villarreal he passed the ball on to Courtois and from the left side of the penalty area he did the rest as he superbly curled a shot just inside the far post past Metapan goal-keeper Henry Hernandez.
The Galaxy continued to press but Hernandez denied first Courtois again after 19 minutes and then Chandler Hoffman who sent a header on target after a Pablo Mastroeni cross after 32 minutes to keep his side still in contention at the half-time break.
The second stanza saw much of the same. Just before the hour mark Villarreal almost turned from provider to goal-scorer but again Hernandez was up to the challenge.
His one final act of defiance came 3 minutes from the full-time whistle when he made a point blank save from substitute Gyasi Zardes. Despite his outstanding effort the defeat for Isidro means that they cannot now mathematically qualify for the Quarter Finals.
Los Angeles next game sees them on their travels when they visit Cartagines knowing a point will be enough to see them advance to the knock-out stage for the third consecutive time.