2019 Leagues Cup, Semifinals
  • José Madueña (4')
  • Orbelín Pineda (47')
  • Emil Cuello (37')

Cruz Azul advances past Galaxy in Leagues Cup

CARSON, Calif. -- A second half wonder-goal from Orbelin Pineda helped Cruz Azul to a 2-1 win over LA Galaxy to advance to the inaugural Leagues Cup final against Tigres on Sept. 18 in Las Vegas.

Jose Maduena had given Cruz Azul the lead inside five minutes, but Emil Cuello leveled in the 37th minute, before Pineda's winner two minutes after half-time.

Tigres beat Club America in a shootout to advance earlier on Tuesday in Houston, after that match finished in a 2-2 draw in regulation time.

Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto made nine changes to the team that tied 2-2 against Seattle Sounders last Saturday, while Cruz Azul manager Pedro Caixinha stuck with a strong starting XI.

Maduena struck a left-footed shot from the edge of the box into the net off the post to give Cruz Azul the lead in front of a crowd made up largely of fans from the Liga MX team.

La Maquina controlled the game, but went into half-time at 1-1 after a long-range shot from Cuello found its way past keeper Jesus Corona, who failed to palm the shot away from goal.

Pineda's goal, however, was the highlight of the game, with the 23-year-old Mexico international curling a shot from outside the penalty box into the top right corner.

The Galaxy -- who play city rivals LAFC on Sunday -- tried to force an equalizer to take the semifinal to penalties and Nick Depuy had a headed chance in the 90th minute, but Cruz Azul hung on to the lead.

The Leagues Cup is a new competition currently played between four Liga MX and four MLS teams, with next year's edition due to expand to include eight sides from each league.