It was a good night for MLS teams in the CONCACAF Champions League. Sporting KC and the LA Galaxy both won their first-leg games in the quarterfinals of the region’s top soccer tournament. That the wins came against Liga MX teams completes a week of CONCACAF Champions League play where none of the three MLS teams remaining in the tournament lost to Liga MX teams.
Sporting KC shutout Cruz Azul 1-0 in front of 18,467 at Sporting Park, remaining undefeated in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League . Kevin Ellis scored Sporting KC’s goal in the 17th minute. Sporting KC led 9 to 7 on shots putting 4 of those on goal to Cruz Azul’s 3. Eric Kronberg kept the clean sheet. Sporting KC now travels to Mexico City for next Wednesday’s second-leg at Estadio Azul.
“I expect for them to come out and throw everything at us,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. “They are playing at home and are a very good team. We knew them well before this game and we know them a lot better now. And they are not going to go down without a major fight. We are going to have to be prepared for everything and as much as our concentration and focus and work ethic was good here, it will need to be double there because it will be a difficult match.”
At StubHub Center, the LA Galaxy also got a 1-0 win in the CONCACAF Champions League, shutting out Tijuana. Samuel scored for the Galaxy in the 11th minute and Jaime Pendo kept the clean sheet. Joe Corona started for Tijuana, subbing out in the 71st minute. Herculez Gomez subbed on in the 80th minute with Edgar Castillo on the bench. Tijuana took 13 shots to the LA Galaxy’s 7, putting 3 of those on goal to LA’s 2. The Galaxy had a 7 to 5 advantage on corner kicks. The series resumes on Tuesday at Estadio Caliente.
“There’s few places in MLS that are as difficult as going to Tijuana so this will be a good test for us,” LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan said. “Fortunately we’ve had a lot of guys who have played in games like this and know what they’re doing. We expect they are going to throw everything at us, and we want that, we want a good test and a good challenge. I think tonight was a great game for everyone to watch, and I think Tuesday it will be the same.”