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Paid Their Dues: López Shuts Down Club América

Porfirio López, afro in full effect, repelled every Club América attack with consummate ease.

Drew Hallowell

Porfirio López easily dealt with whatever the Club América attack threw at him on Thursday night, as his Alajuelense side claimed a 1-0 victory at home.LDA looked the more threatening side, holding 60% of possession and creating the majority of the scoring opportunities. Despite their wealth of chances, they didn't find the back of the net until the 83rd minute, when substitute Álvaro Sánchez blasted a penalty into the right side of the goal. While the home side were the more dangerous one, América still managed a few chances.

López, playing as a left center back, was, for me at least, the man of the match. He cut out a number of dangerous balls sent in by the Mexican club, and assured that there wouldn't be any goals scored on the left side. LDA, Club América, and Sporting San Miguelito are now in a three-way tie for supremacy in Group 4.

Faryd Mondragón allowed two goals as 2nd-placed Atlético Nacional sent Deportivo Cali home with zero points. On the other side of the field, Atlético 'keeper Cristian Bonilla saved a penalty in the 87th minute to keep a clean sheet for his side. Bonilla is viewed as the future starting goalkeeper for the Colombian National Team, the same team that has capped Mondragón on over 50 occasions.

Freddy Adu was handed his first start in a Bahia jersey as they defeated Portuguesa 2-1 on aggregate. Adu went 71 minutes in the 0-0 result. Bahia will take on Atlético Nacional, the club of former MLSer Juan Pablo Ángel, in the next round of the Copa Sudamericana.

Gateshead has announced that Joe Tait has a double hernia, and will undergo surgery. He'll be out for four to six weeks.

Shea Salinas was in the 18, but did not make an appearance in San Jose's 1-0 away loss to CD Heredia. The Earthquakes are now six points out of first with two games remaining.