CONCACAF Champions League roundup: LA win to book quarters spot, Houston get big 3 points

USA TODAY Sports

Group 8 is settled, with LA advancing, while Groups 1 and 6 will come down to the final matchday.

The quarterfinals got a little more crowded on Wednesday, when the LA Galaxy booked their spot in the knockout stages by winning Group 1. But LA was the only team to lock up a spot on Wednesday, as Groups 1 and 6 are still up for grabs heading into the final matchday.

Cartagines 0-3 LA Galaxy

The Galaxy's first away match of the Champions League proved to be their best performance of the competition and this despite not starting a single first choice player. It was the reserves who got the chance to impress in Costa Rica and impress they did, pounding Cartagines with three first half goals to cruise to victory.

Jack McBean put LA in front after just six minutes when he slipped inside his marker on a free kick and headed home the opener. That lead was stretched to 2-0 in the 18th minute when Chandler Hoffman got on the end of a cross and redirected it home then Laurent Courtois finished things off with a 20-yard strike that found the back of the net before the 30-minute mark.

It was a dominant performance for the Galaxy, who clinched Group 8 with the win. They have one match left, a trip to Isidro Metapan, but with a five-point lead in the group, it doesn't mean a thing. They are quarterfinals-bound.

Houston Dynamo 2-0 W Connection

For a while, it looked like Houston would rue their slew of missed opportunities. They expected to take three points from lowly W Connection at home and despite controlling possession, generating chances and simply dominating the run of play, they couldn't find the net. Whether it was poor finishing, sensational goalkeeping or balls cleared off the line, they just couldn't find the net.

Then of all people, Jason Johnson broke the deadlock. The 22-year-old, making just his fifth career start, slipped past a defender before hitting an absolute bullet past Alejandro Figueroa to put the Dynamo in front. It was a great goal, and not 20 minutes later Bobby Boswell headed home a corner kick to seal the win for the home side.

With the win, Houston now sits atop Group 1 on seven points, one clear of Arabe Unido. That one-point lead is vital because the final matchday will see the Dynamo travel to Panama, where they will now need just a draw against Arabe to book a quarterfinal spot.

Comunicaciones 2-0 Caledonia AIA

Comunicaciones are still alive thanks to their win over Caledonia. The Guatemalans dominated the Trinidad and Tobago side in Guatemala City from the very start, creating all the early chances and even hitting the bar, but it took until the 29th minute before they went in front. Jairo Arreola did the honors with a divind header and Francisco Benitez added his own diving header -- a spectacular one at that -- just before halftime to secure the win.

The win moves Comunicaciones within three points of first place Toluca heading into the final matchday, but their odds of winning Group 6 are still slim. They will need to win at Toluca to do it, and score at least two goals doing it, making their win over Caledonia likely little more than some last minute CPR before they are lowered into the ground for good.

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