L.A. Galaxy and Santos Laguna play to stalemate in CCL first leg

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu
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There was plenty of entertainment but zero finish between the L.A. Galaxy and Santos Laguna in California on Wednesday, as the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal’s first leg ended 0-0.

The second leg is 10 p.m. ET Tuesday at Estadio Corona, and if it’s as physical as the first, both teams will want reprieve from their domestic schedule.

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The Galaxy took less than a half-minute to get a corner kick, and Jelle van Damme nearly powered Giovani Dos Santos’ offering home if not for the springing stop from Agustín Marchesín.

Santos Laguna's Jose Abella goes for a head ball over Los Angeles Galaxy’s Robbie Keane during the first half of a CONCACAF Champions League soccer quarterfinal in Carson, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
L.A. kept possession for much of the opening quarter-hour, and wound up with a dangerous free kick in the 15th minute. Dos Santos effort was missing some zing, and Marchesin caught it after it soared over the wall.

Dos Santos made a good turn in front of goal while being held, and didn’t get enough power on his shot — you know, because of the hold — and it was saved by Marchesin.

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The first notable moment of the second half came when Robbie Keane endured a solid collision and needed to be checked out for a head injury. The foul allowed Steven Gerrard a free kick, but it was deflected out of play.

Santos Laguna had its moments, and mostly played the villain to a T via embellishment and sneaky shots like the slap at Robbie Rogers in final 10 minutes.

The most consistent threats came from the Galaxy. Dos Santos and Gyasi Zardes put themselves in a lot of dangerous positions, but the final ball was absent.

Tempers flared on multiple occasions, and Robbie Keane actually exchanged moderate shoves with Santos manager Luis Zubeldía on the touch-line. They’d later shake hands.