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Galaxy strikes twice to down Motagua
by Ridge Mahoney, August 16th, 2011 10:20PM

TAGS:  los angeles galaxy, mls


[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] "Holding serve" is a tennis term, but for teams playing international soccer competitions, it can also refer to taking care of business at home, i.e., winning. Adam Cristman and Landon Donovan scored goals on either side of halftime and goalie Josh Saunders repelled the shots he had to stop as the Galaxy beat Motagua, 2-0, in its Concacaf Champions League opener Tuesday night at Home Depot Center.

Coach Bruce Arena fielded most of his star ters, yet Cristman -- normally a backup -- rewarded his coach by scoring in the 13th minute. Juninho's through ball ran for right back A.J. DeLaGarza to slide across the goal and Cristman to tap in. He squandered a few subsequent opportunities, though, and thus the Galaxy didn't get a second goal until the 60th minute, when David Beckham crossed from the right side to the far post, where Donovan controlled the ball off his chest and lashed it into the net.

Motagua's comeback prospects fizzled out in the 70th minute when former MLS player Ivan Guerrero was sent off for chopping down Sean Franklin. Still, former Galaxy attacker Guillermo "Pando" Ramirez tested Saunders with a clean breakthrough chance the keeper kicked away. Seconds later Jerry Bengston nailed a header that Saunders' feet repelled as well.

The victory set up a showdown of sorts a week from Thursday at HDC. The Galaxy hosts Alajuelense, which shares the lead in Group A following its 1-0 defeat of Morelia on Tuesday. It will be another case of whether the home team can hold serve.

Week 1 Results:
Aug. 16
Group A
Los Angeles Galaxy 2 Motagua (Hond.) 0.
LA: Adam Cristman 12
LA: Landon Donovan 69
Alajuelense (C.R.) 1 Morelia (Mex.) 0.
ALA: Jonathan McDonald 76
Group B
Santos (Mex.) 3 Real Espana (Hond.) 2.
SAN: Juan Enriquez 27
RE: Edder Delgado 41
SAB: own goal 52 
RE: Allan Lalin 67
SAN: Cristian Suarez 67
Group D
Seattle Sounders 4 Comunicaciones (Guat.) 1
COM: Jairo Arreola 2
SEA: Brad Evans 35
SEA: Mike Fucito 61
SEA: Mike Fucito 67
SEA: own goal 87

Week 1 Schedule:
Aug. 17
Group D
8 p.m. ET
Herediano (C.R.) vs. Monterrey (Mex.)
Group B
10 p.m. ET
Colorado Rapids vs. Isidro Metapan (El. Sal.)
Group C
10 p.m. ET
UNAM (Mex.) vs. FC Dallas

Aug. 18
Group C
8 p.m. ET
Tauro FC (Pan.) vs. Toronto FC

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