Galaxy, Tecos de UAG battle to draw
The Los Angeles Galaxy and Tecos de UAG battled to a 1-1 draw in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the first World Soccer Super Classico Nashville on Tuesday night at the Coliseum in Nashville, Tenn. Los Angeles opened the scoring with a long range bomb by midfielder Arturo Torres, but Tecos responded with a strike from forward Eduardo Lillingston to even the match.
In the nine years of competition, the L.A. Galaxy boast a strong all-time international record of 22-10-14 (W-L-T) against an impressive list of opponents from almost every region of the world.
In the first half, Los Angeles created the first scoring opportunity in the 16th minute, as Alejandro Moreno recovered a loose ball at midfield and fed Carlos Ruiz up the left wing. Ruiz ran on to the pass before playing a cross into the middle for Ned Grabavoy. The former Indiana standout ran onto a Ruiz pass, cut back on a trailing defender inside the box. With only the goalkeeper to beat, Grabavoy fired a low shot that was saved by Tecos goalkeeper Guadalupe Martinez.
The Galaxy struck against with their second dangerous chance of the match in the 20th minute. Once again, the Venezuelan international sparked the club's next opportunity, this time dribbling up the right wing and sending a cross to the middle just over the head of Ruiz and off the finger tips of the Tecos goalkeeper. However, the Tecos defense was able to clear away the loose ball.
In the 41st minute, Los Angeles midfielder Torres scored a brilliant strike from 18 yards out to the give L.A. a 1-0 advantage. Off a counter attack up the right wing, Alejandro Moreno played a dangerous cross into the box, but it was deflected out to the top of the box by a Tecos defender. Sprinting onto the loose ball, Torres, in stride, blasted a right-footed shot into the up right corner past a helpless Martinez.
Tecos nearly responded in the 43rd minute as midfielder Andony Hernandez displayed a bit of fancy footwork in the box. Beating his defender, Hernandez's shot went just wide right of the goal as Galaxy 'keeper Dan Popik covered the inside of the post.
At the half, Los Angeles substituted in five new players including Ryan Suarez, Chris Aloisi, Josh Gardner, Joseph Ngwenya, and Jovan Kirovski. The move resulted was an explosion of wide-open play for both sides.
In the 69th minute, Tecos forward Lillingston scored the equalizer for the visiting side from Guadalajara, Mexico, leveling the score at 1-1. Tecos' Ruben Rubio played a long pass into the top of the box and onto the header of Lillingston, who beat a charging Popik, flicking the ball over the 'keeper and into the empty net.
Los Angeles continued to battle throughout the second half as Andreas Herzog, Sasha Victorine and Chris Albright were inserted in the match all before the 70th minute mark. The trio provided a spark late in the match with two stellar chances. The first came off a Herzog freekick at the right corner of the top of the box. Herzog curved a dangerous ball inside the box to Suarez, whose header knocked off the right post.
In injury time, Albright beat his defender on the dribble up the left wing, tight roping the endline before crossing to the far post over the Tecos goalkeeper Jesus Yeeh for Moreno and the open net. However, the cross-sailed just over Moreno's head.
The L.A. Galaxy was without one key player, midfielder Cobi Jones, who missed the match after undergoing a tonsillectomy last week. The World Cup veteran is recovering in Los Angeles and will have his status reevaluated later this week to determine his availability for this weekend's match against the Columbus Crew.
Next, the Western Conference leading L.A. Galaxy return home to host the Columbus Crew at The Home Depot Center at 7:00 pm on Saturday, April 24, 2004. For more information or to purchase your 2004 Galaxy season tickets, please call toll-free 1-877-3GALAXY or visit www.lagalaxy.com.
Linescore: 1 2 F Tecos de UAG: 0 1 1 Los Angeles: 1 0 1
UAG - Lillingston (Rubio) 69
LA - Torres (Unassisted) 41
Tecos de UAG (4-4-2) - Guadalupe Martinez (62: Jesus Yeeh), Said Godinez, Andony Hernandez, Maximo Lucas (46: Edson Aluarado), Mario Rosales, Juan Pablo Rodriguez, Mauricio Gallaga (46: Carlos Alala), Danilo Turicos (46: Rodolfo Navarro), Eduardo Lillingston, Flavio Davino (46: Antonio Huerto).
Los Angeles Galaxy (4-4-2) - Dan Popik, Scot Thompson (46: Chris Aloisi), Danny Califf (46: Ryan Suarez), Hong Myung Bo, Paul Broome (66: Chris Albright), Arturo Torres (46: Joseph Ngwenya), Marcelo Saragosa (66: Sasha Victorine), Ned Grabavoy (68: Andreas Herzog), Guillermo Gonzalez (46: Josh Gardner), Alejandro Moreno, Carlos Ruiz (46: Jovan Kirovski).
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: Ken Kaplan, David Lakin
4th Official: Jeff Hink
Weather: Clear and 70 degrees
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
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