CARSON, Calif. — Nicholas Addlery scored once in each half, David Foley and Josh Hansen also tallied as the Puerto Rico Islanders stunned the Los Angeles Galaxy, 4-1, in the opening game of a CONCACAF Champions League preliminary series Tuesday night at the Home Depot Center.
The Islanders, who have forged a reputation as giant killers in the CONCACAF Champions League, had just two shots on goal in the first half, but both resulted in goals. Against the run of play, Foley put Puerto Rico in front in the 26th minute.
David Horst got on the end of Hansen’s corner kick and powerfully headed on goal. Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders and defender A.J. DeLaGarza both went for the ball at the near post. The rebound squirted loose and Foley pounced, the Englishman easily depositing the ball into the open net.
The Islanders doubled their lead just before the break when Addlery lost defender Gregg Berhalter, taking Scott Jones’ cross on the bounce and beating Saunders with a side volley in the 45th minute.
Hansen, once on the Galaxy books , added a third goal in the 56th minute on a blast from 30 meters that went off the post to Saunders left and in to give Puerto Rico a commanding 3-0 lead.
Addlery added to the rout in the 81st minute, intercepting an errant pass, dribbling into space down the right side and put a shot off Saunders from 19 meters to make it 4-0.
The Galaxy avoided the home shutout seven minutes from full time when Edson Buddle dribbled into the area and the ball went off Richard Martinez for an own goal.
Los Angeles had nothing to show from dominating possession in the opening half. In the 11th minute, Brazilian Juninho put his free kick from 23 meters over the crossbar and onto the top netting.
Three minutes later, Alan Gordon’s first-time volley from an Eddie Lewis cross sailed over the net from eight meters and in the 16th minute, Landon Donovan ran into space, splitting a pair of Puerto Rico defenders at the top edge of the 18-yard box. The United States international sent in a deep cross that forced Puerto Rico goalkeeper Bill Gaudette off his line, but Gordon again couldn’t put the ball on target, sending it over the frame with his knee.
In the 31st minute, Donovan again was provider, setting up Sean Franklin, who beat Gaudette to the ball and sent it toward the open net, but Horst cleared it off the line and out for a corner kick.
The Galaxy continued to press forward after halftime, but Gaudette stymied Donovan on a header from close range in the 63rd minute and then Lewis lifted an attempt from the left of the goal into the seats.
In the 71st minute, Chris Birchall followed up a corner kick with a low shot that had Gaudette beat, but Foley did well to clear the ball off the line. Four minutes later, Gaudette leapt into the air to parry away another Juninho free kick with his right hand.
After Martinez’s own goal, Los Angeles kept pressing forward, but Donovan put a free kick off the Puerto Rico wall in the 85th minute and the Galaxy captain was then stopped by Gaudette three minutes later.
Puerto Rico, which reached the semifinals in the first CONCACAF Champions League two years ago and defeated MLS side Toronto FC in the preliminary stage last year, has the upper edge on another major upset as the aggregate series heads to Bayamon next Wednesday. The winner advances to the group stage and be placed in Group D with Mexico’s Toluca, Olimpia from Honduras and the winner of the preliminary series between Salvadoran squad FAS and Guatemala’s Xelaju.