Nicolas Muñoz was the man of the match after scoring all four goals in Isidro Metapan's resounding, yet surprising victory, over the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Galaxy's Shocking Loss Sets Up Xolos Encounter
Nicolás Muñoz was the man of the match after scoring all four goals in Isidro Metapan's resounding, yet surprising victory, over the Los Angeles Galaxy.
The MLS club came into their fourth group stage match with three previous victories and with a clean sheet in each of those games. Accumulating nine points in their CONCACAF Champions League run up to this match, the Galaxy was already qualified to the CCL quarter-finals as they made the trip to El Salvador, encouraging Bruce Arena to field a "B" team in their final group encounter.
On the other hand, El Salvador's Isidro Metapan no longer had a chance to qualify to the next round but that didn't stop them from getting inspired to beat the giants of Major League Soccer. Since no energy could be harnessed from the nearly empty stadium, Muñoz was the man responsible of inserting that vital surge of inspiration into his club, scoring an amazing free-kick on the 29th minute to start the Salvadoran party.
Less than five minutes later Nicolas Muñoz completed an impressive hat-trick with two more amazing goals on Jaime Penedo's replacement keeper, Brian Rowe. Like the first goal where Rowe's mistake allowed the ball to ease on by into the net, the second and third goal were also due to Rowe's negligence, as he was much too static when he was called to action.
Muñoz completed his pokar in the first half with another beautiful goal, lobbing the ball over Rowe without even looking at the net. The more than impressive performance from the Panamanian shot the Galaxy down from first place to sixth of the qualified teams and against all odds, Los Angeles will face the Xolos of Tijuana in the quarter-finals of the CCL on March of 2014.
Meanwhile, the Houston Dynamo were eliminated in the group stage after losing to Panama's Arabe Unido in a 1-0 upset. The lone goal came through a strange yet efficient header by Jose Gonzalez on the 62nd minute that Tally Hall nearly kept out.
Image: LA Galaxy