KANSAS CITY, KS - SEPTEMBER 05: Sean Franklin (C) of the Los Angeles Galaxy celebrates with teammates Adam Cristman #17 and Frankie Hejduk (R) after scoring against the Sporting Kansas City during the second half on September 5, 2011 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

CONCACAF Champions League 2011, Matchday 5: Galaxy Win It In 90th With Juninho Goal

There are two match days left in the CONCACAF Champions League and 15 of the 16 teams have yet to secure advancement or be eliminated, setting up a tantalizing finish

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LA Galaxy Vs. Monarcas Morelia, 2011 CONCACAF Champions League: Juninho Wins It For LA In 90th Minute

The Los Angeles Galaxy essentially needed a win against Monarcas Morelia on Wednesday night if they wanted to have a chance to make the knockout stages of the CONCACAF Champions League. it was the fifth of six match days in the group stage and had the failed to get three points then they would have needed a lot of help to get through. That is why Galaxy fans were sick to their stomach when they saw the scoreboard showing a 1-1 tie as the clock hit 90, but then Juninho was able to knock home a free ball in injury time to get the Galaxy three incredible and important points.

Some early Galaxy pressure resulted in a goal when Mike Magee was able to finish a cross from Todd Dunivant in the 20th minute. From then on it was all Morelia though. They finally got a goal they most definitely deserved when Bryan Jordans sliding attempted clearance just left the ball in front of the Galaxy net. Rafael Marquez Lugo was able to poke it through Josh Saunders in a scramble and eventually push it over the line for the equalizer.

LA showed their desperation to get three points in the final half hour as they pushed Omar Gonzalez up the field into a forward position, but for all their pressure they couldn't get chances. Meanwhile, Morelia was exploited their necessity to throw men forward by jumping on the counterattack with Damian Manso even hitting the cross bar. LA stayed alive though.

With the match already into injury time, the Galaxy got a corner kick that figured to be their last chance at a winner. The ball was whipped in and Chad Barrett won the header, but it was knocked down in front. With a mess of players trying to get a foot to it, it was Juninho who was able to as he slammed it home for the winner in the dying moments of the match.

Los Angeles and Morelia now share the perch atop Group A with nine points apiece, although Alajuelense also has nine points, plus they have a match in hand. Morelia has the edge in goal difference by two over LA, while LA leads Alajuelense by one goal.


Tauro FC Vs. FC Dallas, 2011 CONCACAF Champions League: Tauro Puts In Five To Win

It was a nightmare match for FC Dallas and their entire CONCACAF Champions League could soon turn into a nightmare. After two match days they looked like a sure bet to make it to the knockout stages, having defeated the top top teams in the group on the road, but now they are in trouble. They drew at home to Tauro FC, who are at the bottom of the group, then lost to UNAM Pumas and on Wednesday, lost at Tauro, 5-3. Now they need a result on the final match day or they are toast.

At no point did Dallas deserve points out of their trip to Panama. While they should have been the team playing with urgency, it was Tauro who looked confident and assured of their every moment. They ran Dallas in circles and thanks to goals by Luis Moreno, Auriel Gallardo, and Marcos Sanchez, plus a Temistocles Perez brace, they put smacked Dallas around. 

Jair Benitez converted a penalty kick and Ruben Luna scored a pair late on, but it didn't matter. Tauro had beaten them and done so soundly. To make things worse for Dallas, Benitez and Fabian Castillo picked up red cards and will now miss the final group stage match for the Hoops.

The loss leaves Dallas even on points with Toronto FC heading into the final match day. The two will play each other on that final day in Dallas and Dallas does have the superior goal difference so a draw would put them through, but the way they have played of late and Toronto's improved for lately makes it a very real possibility that Dallas is eliminated. Who would have thought that a month ago?


Monterrey Vs. Herediano, 2011 CONCACAF Champions League: Mexicans Get Surprisingly Tough Win

Monterrey wasn't supposed to have any trouble getting three points against Herediano, the worst team in Group D, but apparently someone forgot to tell the Costa Ricans that. They battled Monterrey for 90 minutes and made things tough all night to the point that it wouldn't be ridiculous in the slightest to say they deserved a point from the match. Football doesn't always give teams what they deserve though and Aldo de Nigris' goal proved to be the difference as Monterrey defeated Herediano 1-0 for a key CONCACAF Champions League victory.

It took 29 minutes for Monterrey to go on top. Jesus Manuel Corona spotted de Nigris and the Mexican international was able to slot home what would prove to be the match-winner. Finally with their goal, it was expected that Monterrey would begin dominating the match as most expected them to do from the start, but that wasn't the case.

Herediano defended well and even generated some chances of their own. Monterrey looked nothing like the team that won the competition a year ago, but they didn't need to. They only needed a result and that is what they got, even if they didn't look overly convincing in doing so.

With the win, Monterrey moves to second in Group D on nine points, but Comunicaciones is right behind them with nine points. Monterrey had to travel to Seattle for the final match day, a trip that will be difficult to get a result out of, but one they may need at least a point from because Comunicaciones could very well get three points from their trip to Herediano.


Toronto FC Vs. UNAM Pumas, 2011 CONCACAF Champions League: Reds Hold On For 1-1 Draw

When you get a home match in the group stage of a competition, you always want three points, but Toronto FC was in a different boat. UNAM Pumas are undoubtedly the top team in Group C of the CONCACAF Champions League and Toronto, for all their recent improvement, couldn't really measure up. All they really wanted was a result from the match and that's what they got. Thanks to an early goal by Peri Marosevic and some good last gasp defending, the Reds held on for a 1-1 draw at BMO Field on Tuesday night.

Danny Koevermans has been at the heart of Toronto's recent surge and he was at the heart of Toronto's first goal. He fed Marosevic for the goal and 34 minutes in, the Reds were ahead 1-0. They took that lead into halftime, but it was only five minutes into the second half when Marco Palacios headed home a Erik Vera cross to level the match for Pumas.

Pumas were the better side and pushed Toronto deep into their own half time and time again, but they couldn't breakthrough. The Reds did well to challenge shots and made them difficult on Pumas and when shots did get through, Milos Kocic was there. It wasn't pretty late on for TFC, but it was enough as they held on for a point.

The point puts Pumas on top of Group C, but Dallas is only a point behind with a match in hand. Toronto is level on points with Dallas for the final advancement spot and while Dallas does have a match in hand, the Reds play Dallas next week so they are in control of their own fate.

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