LA Galaxy 5, Comunicaciones 0 | CONCACAF Champions League Match Recap
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy made quick work of Guatemalan powerhouse Comunicaciones on Tuesday night, tallying twice in the first nine minutes en route to a 5-0 romp at StubHub Center that positions them superbly following their home slate in CONCACAF Champions League group play.
Mika Väyrynen volleyed home a Giovani Dos Santos chip in the fifth minute and Alan Gordon, with the first of two goals, stripped goalkeeper Juan Paredes and finished into an open net four minutes later as LA (2-0-0) followed their tournament-opening rout of Trinidad and Tobago's Central FC a dozen days earlier with a performance nearly as impressive -- and against a superior foe.
Robbie Keane came off the bench to score two late goals, and Dos Santos picked up a pair of assists as they pulled away in the second half.
It leaves the Galaxy with a plus-9 goal difference heading into games Sept. 23 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and Oct. 21 in Guatemala City. Comunicaciones, which was playing its Group D opener, is home Aug. 27 against Central, then visits Trinidad on Sept. 17. Goal difference can be vital for seeding when the group winners are paired off for next year's quarterfinals.
The Galaxy, who return to MLS action Sunday afternoon at StubHub against New York City FC, have scored at least three times in every competitive home game over the last two months -- and at least five on six occasions -- with 39 goals in eight games.
Comunicaciones included six Gold Cup players in their lineup, and brought on two more in the second half.
LA struck on their first shot, a brilliant volley from Väyrynen. Zardes played Dos Santos through on the right, and the Mexican star chipped from the right byline into the middle of the box. The Finnish midfielder hit it solidly with his left foot, blistering a rising shot past Paredes and into the net.
It was 2-0 in the ninth, after Paredes, with plenty of time and no opposition, mishit the ball just above his box. Gordon raced in to nick it off the goalkeeper, nutmegging him in the process, and then calmly slid the ball into the open net.
They might have netted a third following another Comunicaciones turnover three minutes later, but Dos Santos' attempt was smothered, and he was in an offside position when Zardes fed him off the rebound.
Los Cremas, off to a slow 1-3-0 start in Guatemala's Liga Nacional after going through much of preseason with 11 players away at the Gold Cup, found their footing about 15 minutes in and created two fine chances back-to-back. Brian Rowe handled both of them, with Rolando Blackburn firing at the goalkeeper from a sharp through ball by Jean Marquez in the 18th minute, and Rowe stretching to parry a Rafael Morales cross into that Blackburn was awaiting in the goalmouth in the 19th.
The Galaxy ought to have scored a third before the break, but Gordon fired at Paredes from a Zardes through ball in the 29th. The big striker also half-volleyed a Dos Santos free kick over the crossbar in the 39th.
Keane came on for Zardes at halftime and made a difference quickly, feeding Gordon for a 54th-minute goal. Kenney Walker sent an outstanding through ball to top of the box for the Irishman, who played the ball to the left to beat three defenders, with Gordon putting it away with his first touch.
Keane tallied twice in the closing minutes, finishing easily from Dos Santos' pass after Rafael Garcia's ball over the top left them bearing down on Paredes in the 87th, then chipping in from the right post from a Walker pass in the 89th.
Comunicaciones came closest to scoring in the 63rd minute, when Blackburn went in one-on-one with Rowe from a ball over the top. Gargan challenged his run, and the Panamanian forward's shot was blocked by Rowe outside the 6-yard box.
Center back Francisco Burgos came close in the 52nd minute, heading a corner kick over the crossbar, and Herrera fired a rocket of a free kick past the right post in the 83rd.