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LA Galaxy top Xolos, advance to Leagues Cup semis

MLS: Leagues Cup-Club Tijuana at LA Galaxy Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

A LA Galaxy team mostly consisting of reverses and Los Dos regulars managed to hold off Club Tijuana until penalties, and Matt Lampson would be the hero with three saves as LA bested the Xolos 3-2 to advance to the semifinals of the Leagues Cup.

The inaugural tournament has drawn heavy criticism from seemingly all corners of social media, but it was a surprisingly fun viewing experience.

Emmanuel Boateng got the Galaxy on the board in the 26th minute when he deflected Kai Korenuik’s shot into the net, but Xolos quickly equalized in the 33rd minute with a bit of simple combination play resulting in a tap-in for Ariel Nahuelpán. The elegant one and two touch football of former FC Dallas manager Oscar Pareja paid off again right before halftime as Washington Camacho tucked home from close range.

Efrain Alvarez’s swerving cross found the head of Dave Romney to tie and match, and after 90 minutes it was off to penalties.

With wife Alex Morgan in attendance, Servando Carrasco nailed a confident opening penalty before Lampson guessed right to give LA the perfect start. Efrain Alvarez was agonizingly close as his attempt smacked the post and crawled across the goal mouth, but Lampson would save two more PKs before Pipa Gonzalez sent the Galaxy to the semis and a date with Cruz Azul.