Cobi Jones’s goal in the 10th minute Friday night provided the Galaxy with a 1-0 victory over Washington D.C. United in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Cup of Champions before 16,568 at rowdy RFK Stadium.
The victory advanced the Galaxy to Sunday’s 10 a.m. PDT championship game of the tournament that will decide the best professional soccer team in the North and Central American and Caribbean region.
Los Angeles will meet Cruz Azul, which raced to a three-goal lead before holding off Mexican League rival Chivas of Guadalajara, 3-2, in the first game of the doubleheader.
D.C. United will play Chivas in the consolation game at 8 a.m. PDT Sunday.
United forward Raul Diaz Arce played in his first game since being arrested for his alleged involvement in a sexual assault in Columbus, Ohio, last weekend. Teammate Mario Gori, who also was arrested by Columbus police, did not play because of a sore knee.
The Galaxy attacked with confidence from the start, with Eduardo Hurtado missing fractionally wide of the right post in the early going. Then, in the 10th minute, Jones found some space moving to his right and cracked a 25-yard shot to the lower left corner, just out of the reach of diving goalkeeper Tom Presthus.
The Galaxy had a golden chance in the 41st minute, but after getting around a desperate Presthus, Mauricio Cienfuegos had his angled shot headed away at the right post by defender Jeff Agoos.
United buzzed all around Campos’s penalty box in the second half, but nothing found its way into the net. In the 77th minute, the Galaxy nearly doubled its lead, but Jones’ lovely run ended with a hard shot off the base of the right post.
In the first game, played under the watchful eye of Mexican national team Coach Bora Milutinovic, Julio Cesar Yegros and Hector Adomaitis scored for Cruz Azul, which opened the scoring on Chivas defender Joel Sanchez’s own goal. Sanchez scored on a penalty kick and Manuel Martinez also scored for Chivas.