soccer  International soccerfutbol

feedback

ESPN

Galaxy's late rally falls short in 0-0 tie with Saprissa.

Revolution draws 0-0 with Alajuelense in CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinal series.

CONCACAF chief Warner faces new charges.

World media group threatens legal action on FIFA photo limits.

Embattled CONCACAF chief Warner faces new charges in T&T.

CONCACAF president Warner is censured and could be dropped from FIFA board.

CONCACAF Champions Cup

Galaxy, Revolution are edged out in quarterfinal round.

(Wednesday, March 8, 2006) -- Major League Soccer's two representatives in the CONCACAF Champions Cup suffered narrow defeats tonight and were eliminated in the quarterfinal round of the tournament for North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

Midfielder Carlos Hernandez found net with a free kick in the 90th minute to lift host LD Alajuelense to a 1-0 decision over MLS's New England Revolution at Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto in Alajuela, Costa Rica. Following a 0-0 draw two weeks ago at New England, LDA won the two-match series 1-0 on aggregate.

Defender Reynaldo Parks scored in acrobatic fashion early in overtime for Deportivo Saprissa, which overcame an early two-goal deficit to defeat the visiting defending MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Josť, Costa Rica. These two teams also played a 0-0 tie two weeks ago at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., thus Saprissa captured the series 3-2 on aggregate for a berth in the semifinals.

The Revolution, the reigning MLS runnerup, looked to be heading to 30 minutes of mandatory overtime for the second straight Champions Cup outing when its defender Jay Heaps committed a foul 25 yards from goal in the 89th minute. On the ensuing free kick, Hernandez bent his shot around a four-man defensive wall high and just inside of the near right post beyond the reach of goalkeeper Matt Reis to propel LDA to a semifinal series this month with Club America of Mexico.

Club America broke away from a 1-1 tie at halftime and routed Portmore United of Jamaica 5-2 at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City for a 7-3 aggregate series advantage.

The first half between the Revolution and LDA was played at a brisk tempo and Revolution striker Taylor Twellman came up empty on a couple of good chances. Once, he shot directly at keeper Wardy Alfaro after receiving a cross from fellow forward Clint Dempsey from the end-line. His second attempt missed its target from a sharp left angle.

Midway through the opening period, Dempsey appeared to have stripped Alfaro before setting up Twellman for an easy conversion, but Dempsey was ruled by referee Peter Prendergast to have fouled Alfaro.

Alajuelense's best chance of the first half came when Hernandez played a ball out of midfield to forward Rolando Fonseca, who had slipped behind a Revs' defense trying to pull an offside trap. New England did not get the call and Fonseca went cleanly through on keeper Matt Reis. Reis did a good job of cutting down the angle on Fonseca and tipping the close-range shot over the crossbar.

Hernandez also was close, but missed on a pair of shots from distance.

In the second half, it was the home team that came out on the attacking and Reis was required to make several good saves as the Revs, in preseason form, appeared to tire.

Still, the Revolution managed a couple of good counterattacks, Late in the second half, Dempsey trapped a ball with his chest behind the LDA defense in the penalty area, but he missed badly from a tight angle, watching his shot sail into the stands.

Parks gave Saprissa its winner in the fifth of 30 minutes of extra time, getting position of L.A. defender Ugo Ihemelu and putting away a free kick from midfielder Alonso Solis with a tumbling header for a 3-2 lead.

Solis came off the bench to contribute a goal and two assists.

Midfielder Josh Gardner, who logged only 38 minutes over three games in two seasons with Los Angeles, staked the Galaxy to a 2-0 lead at intermission with a goal and an assist, but Saprissa came out attacking after the break and quickly erased its deficit.

With only 37 seconds coming off the clock in the second half, Saprissa midfielder Walter Centeno pulled his side to within 2-1 when he buried a header off Solis' free kick.

In the 57th minute, Solis got around rookie defender Nathan Sturgis, who is yet to play in an official MLS game, and slid a shot around keeper Kevin Hartman from close-in to equalize at 2-2.

L.A. went ahead 1-0 in the 18th minute, attacking down the right flank. Herculez Gomez beat defender Gabriel Badilla and centered for fellow forward Donovan who dummied, allowing the ball to roll across the face of the goal. Advancing on the far side, Gardner drove his shot back to the right side of the net past keeper Jose Francisco Porras.

The Galaxy increased its advantage to 2-0 in the 40th minute. Gardner picked Parks' pocket on the left and crossed to Donovan who beat Porras.

In another quarterfinal series, Toluca of Mexico came from behind to edge visiting Olimpia of Honduras 2-1 for a 4-1 aggregate total.

Toluca will play Saprissa in a two-match semifinal later this month.

Do you have a comment on this story or something to say about soccer in general? Send us a letter.

©Copyright 2006 SoccerTimes.com. All Rights Reserved