A reserve-heavy LA Galaxy side fought gallantly but could not find a way past Cruz Azul on Tuesday night, falling 2-1 in their semifinal clash in the Leagues Cup at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Mexican international Orbelin Pineda was the difference-maker, striking a glorious game-winner just after halftime and assisting on Jose Maduena's early opener. Rookie Emil Cuello scored his first goal for the Galaxy, a devilishly-struck dipper from distance, to draw the hosts level amid waves of pressure from La Maquina, but it proved insufficient.
With plenty of mileage on his team's legs this month and a massive El Trafico showdown with LAFC on Sunday, Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto had tough choices to make with his lineup and he elected to give Zlatan Ibrahimovic and several other regulars a night's rest.
The youngish group on the DHSP pitch carried their club's colors proudly, but the large contingent of Cruz Azul fans in the house left happy as their side booked a date with Tigres UANL in the Leagues Cup final next month.