The LA Galaxy went down to Tijuana, and were unable to control any facet of the match allowing the Xolos to cruise to a 4-3 aggregate victory that wasn't as close as the scoreline suggests. The Galaxy kept things fun and interesting with a quick goal out of tunnel in the second half, but for most of the allotted time Tijuana were able to come down on LA with whatever they wanted.
Robbie Keane scored the two goals for LA, the first a three Designated Player combination after the halftime break with Landon Donovan taking the free kick, Omar Gonzalez heading the ball into the center, and Robbie Keane smashing the ball home. Keane created his own opportunity later in the match to bring things back within a goal, but LA could push to get that final piece.
Tijuana were in some ways the benefactors of luck, with their first goal coming off a big chance from a deflection within the first two minutes of the match. LA had to work a bit harder to create two big chances, but they converted them to keep things interesting down to the final minute. Tijuana began the time wasting by the hour mark, and the amount of time wasted was not reflected in stoppage time given. LA was not able to control the pace even when they were the aggressor in the match.
There were some flaws exposed for the LA Galaxy. Gyasi Zardes continued pushed to the inside instead of using his speed on the outside, and his passing left much to be desired. James Riley has been getting a warm welcome, but his performance tonight may have worn that out. He was subbed at halftime, and forcing Bruce Arena to use a defensive sub at halftime certainly didn't help LA down the line.
It wasn't all on the defense. Tijuana's second goal was a combination of Arena's high line and the midfield's complete lack of pressure on the ball. The central midfield continues to be an issue for LA despite returning starters in those positions.
Todd Dunivant made his first appearance of the year coming on for Riley, and he pushed high the whole time giving the Galaxy effectively a three man back line. Rob Friend came on for Samuel giving them an aerial threat that created the openings on the first Galaxy goal, but failed to pay dividends after that.
The Xolos are through despite poor game management after building a first half 3-0 lead. It's sad to have the Galaxy go out at this stage in a pairing that felt winnable. Bruce Arena may not have felt short changed only getting one goal at home, but it's clear he didn't foresee just how many holes his back line had.