The LA Galaxy defeated Club Tijuana of Liga MX in penalty kicks in the first round of the inaugural Leagues Cup tournament at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. At the end of regulation, both teams were even at two goals a piece, but the Galaxy managed to pull through and earn the win.
Just four days after the last match for both teams, the Galaxy’s roster showcased depth players and regular starters took a break. Matt Lampson, the Galaxy’s back up goalkeeper, also started.
Though Club Tijuana played with a heavy press throughout most of the match, the Galaxy opened the scoring in the 27th minute with a strike from midfielder Emmanuel Boateng. The ball was crossed in from Galaxy II player Kai Koreniuk, and Boateng deflected the ball into the back of the net.
Tijuana’s pressure soon provided both an answer and the go-ahead goal before the first half was over. Ariel Nahuelpán found the back of the net in the 33rd minute and Washington Camacho did it again in the 45th. Both players also scored for Tijuana in their match Friday. The first half ended with a 2-1 in favor of Club Tijuana.
Just nine minutes into the second half, Dave Romney found the equalizer for the Galaxy off a corner kick from midfielder Efrain Alvarez. The score was tied 2-2, and Tijuana began applying even heavier pressure to try to avoid penalty kicks. In the closing minutes of the match, defender Julian Araujo earned a second yellow card, leading to an ejection. The match ended 2-2 in regulation, even though Tijuana finished the game with a total of 20 shots compared to just seven from the Galaxy.
In the penalty kick shootout, Lampson came up huge for the Galaxy with three saves in the four shots he faced. Midfielder Servando Carrasco, Boateng and defender Giancarlo Gonzalez each finished their penalties to give the Galaxy a 3-1 final advantage.
With this win, the Galaxy move on to the semifinals of Leagues Cup, where they will host Cruz Azul of Liga MX on Aug. 20 at Dignity Health Sports Park. Before adding this match to their schedule, the Galaxy already had five MLS regular season matches in August. This Leagues Cup match will fall between their home game against the Seattle Sounders Aug. 17 and their road game against LAFC Aug. 25.