One major upset and one decent size surprise on an exciting night of in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
The upset took place in LA, where Toronto FC stunned the Galaxy to win 2-1 and advance to the semi-finals with a 4-3 aggregate win.
In the semi-finals, Toronto will meet Mexico’s Santos Laguna who thrashed the Seattle Sounders 6-1 for a a 7-3 aggregate victory. That home-and-home series will take place on March 28 and April 4 with the winner advancing to the CCL finals.
In LA it was a cagey opening 15 minutes in LA before the Galaxy created the first good chance when Mike Magee beat the TFC offside trap to score but his effort was ruled offside, a decision that TV replays showed to be wrong.
But the scare seemed to wake up Toronto and just as he did the first leg, Ryan Johnson opened the scoring. Soolsma sent a cross from the right flank towards the far post and Johnson out-jumped Tommy Meyer to place a header into the corner of the net, giving TFC a 1-0 lead on the night and 3-2 on aggregate.
The Galaxy got back on level terms on the other side of halftime. Landon Donovan sprinted past Toronto defender Miguel Aceval down the right flank before crossing to Keane. TFC defender Ty Harden slid to attempt a clearance, but instead sent the ball directly into the back of the net.
At that point I expected the Galaxy to capitalize on their momentum and go on an win the match. But Robbie Keane missed a couple of great chances and TFC hit them on the break.
This time, it was Johnson who played provider, firing a cross from the left flank to the middle of the box in the 67th minute. Soolsma, making a late run through the middle of the penalty area, was wide open and he buried it into the back of the net for the 2-1 advantage.
In Mexico, the Sounders failed to show up in arguably the biggest game in franchise history. The Sounders won the first leg 2-1 in Seattle, but they could not cope with the heat or U.S. national team player Herculez Gomez.
Gomez scored twice as Santos Laguna demolished the Seattle Sounders 6-1. Santos Laguna got off to a great start with two goals in the opening ten minutes. First Christian Suarez dribbled past two Sounders defenders to score from outside the area in the eighth minute, and then Oribe Peralta turned a defender and scored 2 minutes later.
The Sounders got back on level terms in the tie when Alvaro Fernandez scored off a header in the 37th to level the tie at 3-3 on aggregate.
But Seattle could not build on the goal and instead capitulated in the second half conceding four times.
Gomez got his first goal 4 minutes into the second off, finishing off a pass from Daniel Luduena pass, and increased the lead in the 68th by beating a defender to a tap in.
Suarez added his second in the 77th, and Carlos Ochoa wrapping up the scoring late.
The Sounders lose continued an streak where no MLS team has defeated a Mexican team over two legs since the continental competition changed its format in 2008.