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Mexican teams dominate in the CONCACAF Champions League

The Liga MX assured themselves that at least two teams are to participate in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League as Querétaro and Santos Laguna managed to do away with their Major League Soccer counterparts.

DC United and the LA Galaxy, still in preseason form, were no match for the in form Querétaro and Santos, as one came in with a disadvantage already and the other looked lethargic in their visit to Mexico. This will, however, have both teams focused more on the task at hand on the weekend, which is the start of the MLS season.

As for the games, Querétaro made their way to our nation’s capital with a two-goal advantage that they managed to increase rather quickly. With just four minutes played, los Gallos Blancos managed to sing early and Angel Sepúlveda was the man who got them on the board early. From a long cross into the box, Edgar Benítez managed to bring it down with a header that found Sepúlveda unmarked at the top of the 6-yard box. From there it was an easy tap-in for Sepúlveda, who basically killed off the game right then and there.

It was basically all Querétaro in the first half, but they were not able to capitalize again for another goals. In the second half, DC United looked and played way better and even were awarded a penalty after Miguel Martínez took down Patrick Nyarko in the penalty area in the 56th minute. Unfortunately, Chris Rolfe could not convert great opportunity; seeing his right footed shot parried away by Querétaro keeper Tiago Volpi. No doubt that if Rolfe would have converted it would have changed the dynamic of the game completely. DC United were able to get what they call in Spanish “el gol de honra” (an honor goal), and it was quite the strike.

Julian Buescher, coming in in the 74th minute, scored his first professional goal and it was quite the laser. From deep outside the box, he managed a shot on frame that he buried into the upper 90, finally able to beat Volpi for the 1-1 score. But, it was too little, too late from United as Querétaro are making their first passage into the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals for the first time ever. But DC United didn’t seem to mind much.

The Santos vs Los Angeles Galaxy matchup — I said — was going to be the best chance an MLS team had against a Liga MX team. The Galaxy sure didn’t play like a team that could beat Santos, suffering a drubbing as they made their trip to a packed Estadio Corona in Torreón. From the starting gate, the Galaxy seemed to stumble defensively and it led to a goal in the 19th minute by Martín Bravo. A ball seemed to ricochet off LA Galaxy defenders as they tried to clear the ball away, but the play ended with Bravo scoring a brilliant goal.

Santos was not done there, with Ulises Davila scoring from a magnificent touch from just inside the box that beat Dan Kennedy on his right side for the 2-0 after just 23 minutes. Djaniny made his mark on the game in the 36th minute after a lazy floater from a corner found him, and he masterfully headed a ball away from Kennedy that just kissed off the post and in for the 3-0. More could have been done by the Galaxy defenders and goalkeeper, but that could have been said about the whole game in general.

After the half, it was still Santos that had control of the possession of the ball, and they managed to tack on one more goal. It was Martín Bravo again, in the 61st minute, from a quick counter by Santos that saw Djaniny connect with Bravo as he blew by Jelle van Damme and beat out Kennedy, who came off his line well, but could not stop the impending goal. Once the whistle blew, Santos assured themselves their fourth CCL semifinal appearance in club history.

With two out of four spots secured, will we see an all-Liga MX CCL semifinals? We will have to tune in to see as Seattle takes on Club América and RSL faces off against Tigres.

Josh Espinal

About Josh Espinal

I am a multimedia journalism graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso. Soccer is more than a passion for me, it's basically life. Follow me on twitter at @joshbruv and see me tweet about soccer in almost every language imaginable.

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