FRISCO, TX - JULY 28: Mike Magee #18 of the Los Angeles Galaxy celebrates with teammates Hector Jimenez #16 and Marcelo Sarvas #8, left, after scoring a goal during the second half of a soccer game against the FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium on July 28, 2012 in Frisco, Texas. The Los Angeles Galaxy won 1-0. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)

CONCACAF Champions League: Galaxy Win A Wild One 5-2

Seven goals and a bizarre red card made for a crazy 5-2 Galaxy win over Metapan, while Municipal scored late to beat Chorrillo.

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LA Galaxy Vs. Isidro Metapan, 2012 CONCACAF Champions League: LA Wins 5-2 Shootout

There was no shortage of goals or drama at the Home Depot Center on Thursday night. The LA Galaxy and Isidro Metapan combined for seven goals, saw Robbie Keane get sent off for asking to be subbed off and generally spent 90 minutes running around like chickens with their heads cut off just to better entertain us*. In the end, things went the way of the home team as the Galaxy answered Metapan's opener with four consecutive goals en route to a 5-2 win.

* Or so it is nice to think

Both teams played without a key player. For LA, Landon Donovan was the key man missing as he dealt with an injury, while Metapan continued life without Lester Blanco, who left for Norway on loan.

After the Galaxy dominated the early exchanges, Munoz shocked the home side with a 17th minute goal. A bad giveaway by Sean Franklin put the Galaxy in trouble and while Todd Dunivant did well to clear a ball off of the line, it only went as far as Munoz. The striker then fired off the inside of the post and in to put Metapan in front.

It took just three minutes for the Galaxy to equalize, though. More accurately, Metapan leveled for the Galaxy because while David Beckham did put a good cross in for Mike Magee, the ball never made it to Magee. Instead, it deflected off of Ricardo Alvarado and into the net to put the match back on level terms.

Two minutes later, a Beckham cross caused problems for Metapan again, although this time his cross did find a teammate. He hit a great ball from the right to the far post to find Keane, who snapped his header down and underneath the sprawling Fidel Mondragon.

As the first half entered stoppage time, it looked like LA would have to settle for their one-goal lead, but a late corner kick by Beckham and a mistake by Mondragon saw the Galaxy tally again before the break. The Englishman whipped in a corner that was curling in towards the net and asked Mondragon to knock it away, but the Metapan keeper couldn't do it. He got to the ball late, as it was already on the line, and could only knock it into his own net as Beckham picked up another Olimpico.

Up 3-1, LA looked to have the match in hand, but a red card to Keane changed things up. This wasn't your average red card, though. First, the referee showed Keane a yellow for a dive after he was kicked in the shins. Then while on the ground, Keane motioned to the LA bench for a substitution and the referee responded by showing him a red card. In true CONCACAF form, the referee thought Keane asking for a substitution was an act of dissent and showed him a second yellow card*, ending his day and leaving LA with 10 men.

* This same referee would go on to give Michael Stephens a yellow card before he entered the match as a substitute for time wasting because Stephens dared wait for the fourth official to tell him to go on. It was a special night.

But being down a man didn't hurt LA. 12 minutes after Keane was sent off, Juninho tapped in a pass from Stephens to put the Galaxy 4-1 up. Metapan did their best to mount a comeback and earned a penalty in the 87th minute, which Munoz converted, but Juninho added his second tally in the 90th minute to finish off a Galaxy win.

LA now sit atop Group 5 with Metapan on three points, but they have only played one match to Metapan's two. The Puerto Rico Islanders are bottom of the group on zero points, having just played one match.


Chorrillo Vs. Municipal, 2012 CONCACAF Champions League: Municipal Eek Out Late Win

If Municipal is going to challenge Monterrey in their CONCACAF Champions League group and have any chance of advancing to the knockout stages, they were going to have to get three points versus Chorrillo. Late on Thursday night, it didn't look like they were going to get it, but Yosimar Arias saved their bacon with an 87th minute goal to deliver them a 2-1 win in Panama and keep their hopes alive.

The two teams were scoreless for most of the match, but once Luis Rodriguez broke the deadlock in the 70th minute, He was left free on a corner kick and headed home to give Municipal a 1-0 lead.

Municipal's lead lasted just five minutes, though. Jairo Jimenez got down the right and his cross didn't find a teammate initially, but it did take a deflection and fall to the feet of Jhonny Ruiz, who settled and scored the level things.

Chorrillo's goal was very much deserved considering how many times they came close in the second half. They had goals disallowed for offside and were thwarted by some fine goalkeeping on several occasions, making it all the more disappointing when they conceded the winner late.

The goal came when Leandro Barrios fired from distance was blocked, but only to the feet of Arias. it left Arias a simple finish and Municipal had themselves three points to move joint top of Group 7 with Monterrey.


Alajuelense Vs. UANL Tigres, 2012 CONCACAF Champions League: Costa Ricans Earn Draw

If any team in Group 6 was going to challenge UANL Tigres for a spot in the quarterfinals it was Alajuelense, and on Wednesday they certainly challenged the Mexican side. The Costa Ricans pushed the group favorites and they were rewarded in stoppage time when Luis Valle found the net to earn them a 2-2 draw that keeps Alajuelense undefeated in five CONCACAF Champions League home matches.

Alajuelense actually had an early lead thanks to Diego Calvo, who came on in the 19th minute for an injured Kevin Sancho. He was able to grab a loose ball and from 20 yards out hit a good curling shot that found the net for a 1-0 Alajuelense lead.

But despite playing with what was mostly a youth team, Tigres didn't go away and just before halftime they got level. After a cross caused havoc in the home side's box, Alonso Zamora was able to get to the ball and knock it into the net for an equalizer.

On the other side of halftime, Manuel Viniegra put Tigres in front when he was able to get free on an Alberto Acosta free kick. The ball found him seven yards from goal and he made no mistake with his finishing, heading home what many thought would be the winner.

Still, Alajuelense did not give up and it paid off in the waning minutes. Once again it was a loose ball that proved dangerous for the Costa Ricans as Valle got to it and took a touch to settle. He lined up a shot from outside the box and hit it just right, beating Aaron Fernandez and earning Alajuelense a point.


CD FAS Vs. Houston Dynamo, 2012 CONCACAF Champions League: Final Score 3-1, Houston Snatch Away Win

In their opening match of the 2012 CONCACAF Champions League, the Houston Dynamo pulled off an important away win in El Salvador. With Olympia beating CD FAS in their first match, it was vital for the Dynamo to get three points here in order to keep pace. They needn't have worried about it -- aside from a (too little too) late rally from FAS they were in control throughout, eventually earning a 3-1 win.

Brian Ching nearly ensured a perfect start for the Dynamo, winning a free kick on the right flank and then nearly scoring from it, just failing to get on the end of the cross as FAS' defence went missing on the set piece. A similar situation played out at the other end of the pitch, with Alejandro Bentos very nearly causing Tyler Deric some major issues.

It was obvious very early on that the hosts weren't doing enough to limit Houston's attack, and they were made to pay the price in the 12th minute. Colin Clark was given all the time in the world to cross the ball in, and Jose Miguel Granadino didn't even bother tracking Ching's run in front of goal. That was an error, and the 34-year-old made him pay, smashing a header past Luis Contreras to make it 1-0.

FAS replied with a good scoring chance of their own, with Alexander Larin picking out Ricardo Ulloa with a free kick -- this time it was Houston's turn to give up a free header, apparently. Fortunately for the visitors, Ulloa's aim was nothing like as good as Ching's, and they'd emerge unscathed.

And then it was 2-0. Some great interplay set Kofi Sarkodie free down the right hand side, and upon seeing Cameron Weaver free at the back post, the fullback sent in a perfect cross. It would have been very difficult not to score, and Weaver didn't disappoint, doubling Houston's lead via a header that Contreras got a hand to but couldn't keep out.

The hosts managed to get back into the game but found themselves playing overelaborate football in front of Deric's goal. They were also fairly unlucky -- it's a bit of a mystery why FAS didn't get a penalty after Nathan Sturgis knocked down Bentos in the penalty box before halftime, and even when they got a break with a blown offside call, they still couldn't profit, with that same Bentos screwing a shot just wide when free on goal.

Houston needed a third goal to be completely confident in taking home the points, and they got it on the hour mark, when Sturgis curled a corner onto Je-Vaughn Watson's head, making it 3-0 with three headers. But that scoreline wouldn't last long thanks to an incredible blind flick from substitute Jonathan Aquila, who reacted to a loose ball with an instinctive backheel scoop that he managed to squeeze past Deric to get a goal back.

Deric had to move very quickly to preserve even that 3-1 lead when Edwin Sanchez let fly with a long-range piledriver, but the Dynamo keeper was up to the task, flying into a fingertip save that took the ball just beyond the post. A less charming part of his game popped up in the 84th minute, when he was booked for timewasting, but it was difficult to blame him with Houston edging closer to a big win.

Three minutes of stoppage time later, they got it.


Caledonia AIA Vs. Marathon, 2012 CONCACAF Champions League: Final Score 0-0, Zzzzzzzzz

Well, that wasn't exactly the prettiest game of football ever played. Caledonia AIA played Marathon in a CONCACAF Champions League group stage match in Trinidad and Tobago, and it's fair to say that neither team set the world on fire in their 0-0 draw.

The visitors were by and large the better side early on, creating a number of chances, but to say that they lacked a cutting edge would be doing a grave disservice to blunt objects around the world. Not even Caledonia goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel's ill-judged forays to the outskirts of the pitch resulted in a goal, although they were at least rather funny -- at one point he was booked for a tackle on Mitchell Brown at the corner flag.

The closest Marathon came to scoring turned out to be via the head of Brown, who along with Randy Diamond was one of the brighter players on the pitch. In the second half, Brown stumbled in the box while looking to shoot, but bounced back up onto his feet in time to receive a cross and smack the subsequent header off the goalpost.

The hosts got into the match towards the end of the ninety minutes, taking advantage of Marathon's habit of pushing black shirts upfield and launching several counterattacks. They ended very well, with Conrad Smith and Cornelius Stewart peppering Jose Mendoza's goal in the final few minutes. Ultimately, however, it wasn't enough for the win, and it's Marathon who'll be slightly happier about getting the draw on the road.


Real Salt Lake Vs. Tauro, 2012 CONCACAF Champions League: RSL Come On Late To Win

Real Salt Lake scored two second-half goals to beat Tauro FC 2-0 on Tuesday and keep their CONCACAF Champions League hopes alive.

Having lost their first Champions League match, Salt Lake were in desperate need for three points at home. After a frustrating first half, they turned it on late to grab all three points.

That Salt Lake wasn't ahead at halftime was borderline criminal and Alvaro Anzola was the thief. The Tauro goalkeeper was sensational in the opening 45 minutes and was almost single-handedly responsible for keeping RSL off of the scoreboard.

Three minutes into the second half, RSL finally did beat Anzola. Of course, the play started with Anzola denying Paulo Jr., but Alvaro Saborio hopped on the rebound and buried it to give the home side a lead.

Just before the hour mark, Kyle Beckerman doubled Salt Lake's lead when he took a pass from Paulo Jr. and did well to create just enough space to unleash a shot. It was a good shot too, eluding Anzola from 18 yards and putting RSL 2-0 up.

It wasn't all good news for RSL, though. Beckerman was sent off for a studs-up tackle with 18 minutes remaining and Salt Lake had to hold on to their lead with just 10 men. He will also have to miss the team's next Champions League contest. This came after Nat Borchers was sent off in Salt Lake's first Champions League match and had to miss the Tauro match.

With the win, Salt Lake joins Herediano atop Group 2 on three points, although RSL has played two matches to Herediano's one. The Costa Rican side will have the chance to move back in front of RSL when they play Tauro in the next group match, while the Panamanians will look to make it a three-way tie atop the group.


Xelaju Vs. Chivas, 2012 CONCACAF Champions League: Chivos Shock Chivas 1-0

Chivas Guadalajara was supposed to run through Group 8 and onto the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, but apparently Xelaju was not aware of the script. The heavy underdog Guatemalan side got a corner-kick goal and held on defensively to top Chivas 1-0 and move to the top of the group.

The goal came in the 67th minute when Edgar Chinchilla was able to get away from his mark at the near post and redirect a corner kick. It ignited the home crowd and eventually earned Xelaju their first ever win in the Champions League.

It's not as if the win was completely undeserved, either. Chivas did have the better of possession, but really struggled to create chances. They could only create a couple opportunities and they did have a goal disallowed for offside, but so did Xelaju.

In the end, Xelaju came away winners and threw Group 8 for a loop. Instead of an easy run for Chivas, the group now has Xelaju atop the table on four points after two matches. W Connection sits second with one point and Chivas is at the bottom on none, having played one match each.


Santos Laguna Vs Aguila, 2012 CONCACAF Champions League: Guerreros Cruise 5-0

Santos Laguna were supposed to easily dispatch Aguila on Tuesday in their CONCACAF Champions League opener and that is exactly what they did. Darwin Quintero notched a hat trick and Gerardo Lugo and Daniel Ludena also added goals as Santos cruised to a 5-0 win that just about eliminates Aguila from the competition.

Aguila never looked like they would be able to challenge Santos in the slightest. Los Guerreros were all over Aguila from the opening whistle and within six minutes, Quintero had them on the scoreboard. He beat the Aguila defense, rounded the goalkeeper and only had to touch the ball into the open net from there to get the home side rolling.

Quintero added his second goal when a Ludena free kick rattled the post and bounced off of Benji Villalobos' back and stopped on the line. Quintero then raced onto it and tapped it over the line to double Santos' lead.

Lugo got involved in the 30th minute when he hopped on a rebound and knocked it into the net before Ludena got on the scoresheet in the 41st minute. He got to a free ball, spun to keep Villalobos from getting the ball and then finished.

With a 4-0 halftime team, Santos were on easy street. Quintero added one more in the second half to complete the hat trick and Santos had themselves a dominating win.

With the win, Santos are now joint top of Group 1 with Toronto FC on three points. Aguila have no points and a goal difference of -9 after two matches that has them realistically on the way out of the Champions League.

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