The Los Angeles Football Club dropped a 2-0 decision Club León in the first leg of the Round of 16 of the Concacaf Champions League in Leon, Mexico on Tuesday night.
Both sides will meet again on Thursday, February 27 at Banc of California Stadium, with kickoff slated for 10 p.m. ET.
LAFC, playing its first competitive match of the year, gave up the first goal in the 21st minute as Jean Meneses beat goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer with a low shot at the near post. Moments later, forward Brian Rodriguez came close to leveling the match, but his left-footed strike went wide.
Eight minutes into the second half, midfielder Francisco Ginella’s shot would also go inches from the mark. The two teams traded chances for the remainder of the match, with the home side doubling its lead in the 88th minute after a poor giveaway allowed Angel Mena to beat Vermeer from close range.
Three players made their LAFC debut – Vermeer and Ginella played 90 minutes, while midfielder Bryce Duke saw his first professional minutes after replacing Mark-Anthony Kaye in the 62nd minute.
In order to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament, LAFC must win 2-0 to force penalty kicks or win by at least three goals, should León score a road goal next Thursday night.
In San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Atlanta United played FC Motagua to a 1-1 first-leg draw at Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano. Josef Martinez opened his season account with an equalizer in the 35th minute, while goalkeeper Brad Guzan made five saves – all in the second half – to preserve the tie.
Motagua scored the opening goal in the 34th minute from Roberto Moreira, who volleyed a cross from the right side from Felix Crisanto past a diving Guzan.
But Atlanta responded one minute later as Josef Martinez and Pity Martinez combined in attack. Josef laid the ball off to Pity and continued his run into the right side of the box where Atlanta’s No. 10 found him with a return pass. The Venezuelan striker then slotted a composed right-footed finish inside the far post.
In a tightly contested second half, Guzan was the ultimate difference-maker for Atlanta, making five saves in the second half, including four in the final 25 minutes. Josef Martinez forced a diving save in the 83rd minute off solid build-up play from Ezequiel Barco. Adam Jahn, who made his club debut subbing on for Pity Martinez in the 80th minute, also supplemented the attack by winning three aerials and four total duels in his short stint.
Atlanta will host the return leg at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 25 (8 p.m. ET, FS1, TUDN, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).