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Los Angeles Galaxy Defeat Motagua, Start Champions League Off With Win

There was little doubt in this one, as the Los Angeles Galaxy rolled over Club Motagua 2-0 in the opening match of CONCACAF Champions League play. The opening goal by Adam Cristman, and then the clinching goal from Landon Donovan put this one away easily for the Galaxy, who still have another home match in the opening week of Champion’s League play.

The first goal, was set up by Juninho at the top of the box. He found a streaking AJ DeLaGarza on his right, who one touched a rolling cross in. Adam Cristman slid to meet the ball and redirect it into the back of the net, putting the Galaxy up 1-0 in the 13’.

The Galaxy kept the heat on throughout the first half, but were unable to pick up another goal. Not for lack of trying. The LA Galaxy had six shots on target in the first half. The ones that went wide, including a screamer from Adam Cristman, continually looked like perfect chances.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, David Beckham whipped a cross into the box. It bounced by the first men. Landon Donovan controlled it with his chest, then launched a no doubt volley past Donaldo Morales. The second goal put the game on ice, and the Galaxy spent much of the rest of the match killing time. David Beckham came out shortly after that.

“I think a good win, against a good team,” said Galaxy manager Bruce Arena. “This competition is going to be difficult, with five more tough games in group play.”

Difficult may be an understatement. Labeled by some the Group of Death, that anyone can win truth was realized tonight when Alajuelense knocked off Morelia at Mexico. Though Alajuelense had the home field, many people assumed that the Costa Ricans had no chance against a Mexican power. It now becomes more key than ever that the Galaxy show up next Thursday and take another three points.

In the first half Motagua played quite loose, which is largely what led to the first goal and all the chances. In the second half, Motagua played up to the American clubs intensity, perhaps too much so. A red card in the 70’ cost CD Motagua Ivan Guerrero. His studs up challenge hit Sean Franklin in the chest, an almost automatic red card call.

Greg Berhalter also managed to get himself booked (yellow), so he’ll have to watch himself the rest of the competition. The Galaxy looked good on the pitch tonight, they looked well rested and refreshed. The addition of Robbie Keane, either Saturday or next Thursday, will only make the team look keener as the season rolls on.