Santos eliminates LA Galaxy from CCL, Queretaro ends D.C. United's run
Argentinian striker Martin Bravo scored twice as Santos routed the LA Galaxy 4-0 on Tuesday night to reach the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals.
Bravo opened the scoring in the 18th minute and added a strike in the 61st for the "Guerreros," who are trying to qualify for their first final since the 2012-13 season.
"Clearly, Santos was the better team today," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said after the match. "They started in an aggressive fashion, were technically better than us and fitter. At this time of the year, they're just a better team than we are."
Asked about the Galaxy star players -- Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane, Nigel de Jong, Giovani Dos Santos and Jelle Van Damme all started -- Arena said: "I didn't see any superstars on our team today."
Ashley Cole did not play as he was in Rome for the birth of his son.
"I think mentally we'll be fine. We'll recover from this performance," Arena said. "And our league starts on Sunday [with the Galaxy home against D.C. United], so we have to be ready to play on Sunday."
Arena admitted that Liga MX "is ahead of MLS at this point in time" but that MLS is "closing the gap."
He added that the CCL schedule favors the Mexican clubs and said the league should work to adjust the calendar.
"It's been, obviously, a complaint of ours for a number of years," Arena said. "However, in all fairness to CONCACAF, they're adherent to [FIFA's] international calendar."
Ulises Davila scored in the 23rd minute and Djaniny Tavares in the 36th also scored for Santos, who will face the winner of the quarterfinal series between Club America and Seattle.
Santos joined Queretaro, who beat D.C. United over two legs, in the semifinals.
The Mexican teams have dominated this tournament, winning the past 10 championships. Costa Rica's Saprissa was the last non-Mexican team to win the CONCACAF Champions League, in 2005.
The Galaxy was trying to reach their first semifinals since 2012-13.
D.C. United was eliminated as well despite Julian Buescher's first professional goal in a 1-1 draw against Queretaro.
Angel Sepulveda scored early for Queretaro, which won the two-legged quarterfinal series 3-1 on aggregate to reach the semifinals in its first appearance in the tournament.
Buescher, United's first-round pick in January's MLS SuperDraft, answered late to provide consolation in D.C.'s second quarterfinal exit in as many years.