by Ivan Yeo
Even with a one goal lead, the Los Angeles Galaxy knew going to Tijuana’s Estadio Caliente for the second leg of its CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against the Xolos was going to be real tough.
Sure enough the Xolos came out firing, notching two goals before the match hit 10 minutes and were up by three goals by the end of the first half. While the Galaxy did its best to prolong its stay in the tournament, the Xolos’ hot start proved to be too much for the American club, who fell 4-2 to the Xolos on Tuesday night.
Tijuana’s Jaime Ayovi was the catalyst in the first half, scoring a brace inside the first 10 minutes and Dario Benedetto had a goal and an assist for the Xolos as well. The Galaxy’s Robbie Keane carried his team with two goals in the second half, but it wasn’t enough for LA as they were eliminated from the tournament 4-3 on aggregate.
Ayovi struck for the Xolos before the match was a minute old and got the brace before the match hit 10 minutes and just like that, Tijuana had taken the aggregate lead. Benedetto then tallied for the Xolos just before the half ended to raise its aggregate lead to two goals.
LA however wasn’t about to go down without a fight, pulling a goal back two minutes into the second half, but Tijuana got another in the 82nd minute thanks to a strike from Richard Ruiz. Keane scored again three minutes later to give LA one last gasp at stealing the series, but Tijuana held on for the win and the trip to the semifinals.