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LA Galaxy defeat Portland Timbers in U.S. Open Cup Round of 16

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Galaxy defense held firm as LA narrowly defeated the Portland Timbers 1-0 in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 Wednesday night, earning a quarterfinal matchup at home vs. the Sounders on July 20th.

Before the game had even gotten started, the Galaxy scored off a quick, ruthless team sequence. Ashley Cole chipped a sublime pass to Emmanuel Boateng inside the box, who collected before squaring to Raul Mendiola from close range, and Mendiola did enough to zip the ball past Nick Hamilton and into the lower corner of the goal.

Bruce Arena opted to field a strong back four in defense, which turned out to be a wise choice. Despite missing the likes of Diego Valeri and Fanendo Adi in the starting lineup, the Galaxy defense had to be sharp all match long.

In the 17th minute, Cole did well to make a vital block on a dangerous Jack Barmby blast that easily could have scorched the net.

The Timbers kept up the pressure, and soon after a breakaway attempt from McInerny was expertly smothered by goalkeeper Clement Diop, Darlington Nagbe chested down a ball and unleashed a shot outside the box that just eluded Diop's far post.

The second half was more of the same for the Timbers, who created a handful of chances but usually failed to hit the target.

Mike Magee had a chance to put the game away in the 75th minute when Baggio Husidic tricked the Portland defense and slyly sent a low free kick from the left touchline right at Magee from point-blank range, but he simply missed the chance, slicing it wide.

The Galaxy will now move on to battle the Whitecaps on July 4th at home.