Sporting Kansas City and the Los Angeles Galaxy claimed narrow wins in the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday.
In the first legs of their quarter-final ties, both MLS outfits were 1-0 victors to set themselves up nicely ahead of trips to Mexico.
Kansas City edged Liga MX leaders Cruz Azul, while the Galaxy held on for victory against Tijuana.
For Peter Vermes' Kansas City side, the clash at Sporting Park was the second of five games in 15 days.
But Kevin Ellis' 17th-minute goal was all they needed to take a huge step towards the semi-finals.
Picked out by Claudio Bieler, the full-back cut inside from the left before drilling a low shot inside Jose Corona's near post.
The hosts had the better of the chances during the first half and Bieler almost doubled their advantage, only to see his shot from just outside the area tipped around the post by Corona.
Mariano Pavone almost levelled for Cruz Azul during the second half, but after rounding Eric Kronberg, the Argentine saw his shot cleared off the line by a desperate Ike Opara.
Benny Feilhaber was fortunate to not see red for Sporting when he kept out a header with his arm on the goal line.
At the other end, Graham Zusi rattled the crossbar with a thunderous strike, but Sporting somehow held on.
Sporting will take the one-goal advantage to the Estadio Azul for the second leg on March 19.
At the Stubhub Center in California, Robbie Keane fortuitously set up Samuel on 11 minutes as the Galaxy overcame Tijuana.
The former Tottenham star was involved in the lead up but his failure to control a Marcelo Sarvas cross inside the area was capitalised on by Samuel, who was on hand to tap in the game's only goal.
|4||K. Ellis||17' 45'|
|Coach: P. Vermes|
|Livermore: England hopes shouldn´t hinge on club side|
|MLS Preview: Tough tests for Conference leaders, Revolution still struggling|
|Mathieu not Barca material, says Marquez|
|West Brom claim unimpressive win in Sacramento|
|Neymar: Brazil behind Germany, Spain|
|Vietnamese police confirm match-fixing players|
|Lucescu blames Joorabchian for AWOL players|
|Robinho undecided on future|
|Rush: Still years left in Gerrard|
|Tiago re-signs with Atletico|
|Puyol against Spain overhaul|
|Agger considering his Liverpool future|
|Peruvian Primera Division Review: Juan Aurich bounce back, Melgar draw with Inti Gas|
|Bayern deny interest in Cuadrado|
|New signings on show in Hull double-header|
|Hooiveld strike sinks Swindon|
|Costa departs Valencia|
|Morata suffers knee injury in training|
|K.League Preview: Seoul, Sangju aim to close gap to sixth, Ulsan host Jeonbuk|
|Lewandowski off the mark on Bayern bow|
|Gerrard retirement will boost Liverpool - Carragher|
|World Cup bidding report due in September|
|Evra bids emotional farewell to United fans|
|J.League Preview: Ventforet Kofu look to escape drop zone, Sagan Tosu battle Kawasaki Frontale|
|Salah spared military service|
|Garcia would welcome Torres return|
|Livermore understands Ince decision|
|Cole happy to get away from English press|
|Evra seals Juve switch|
|Bayern stay was Kroos´ ´priority´|
|Scuffet: Udinese right place to continue developing|
|Gerrard retires from England duty|
|Ambitious Pochettino targets title|
|Aspas eager to put ´bad season´ behind him|
|Atletico Mineiro v Lanus: Visitors out to recover from first-leg loss|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Sligo, Inter Baku out to finish shocks|
|Hughes expects Bojan decision soon|
|Cech on the mend - Holland|
|Pardew eager to honour crash victims|
|Prandelli hits back at critics|
|Negredo breaks metatarsal|
|Rooney eager to impress Van Gaal|
|Palacios´ Qatar move falls through|
|Wenger rules out striker signing|
|Six Shakhtar players refuse to return|
|Six Vietnamese footballers arrested for match fixing|
|Copa Libertadores Preview: Nacional Asuncion, San Lorenzo to host first legs|
|Mata hopeful of title|
|Napoli bullish about Scudetto chances|
|Colombian Primera A Review: Patriotas Boyaca, Deportes Tolima start with wins|
|Subotic thrilled to be back|
|Germain: Monaco can replace Rodriguez|
|Sullivan confident of Carroll improvement|
|Callejon staying put|
|DC United 3 Chivas USA 1: DC end Chivas´ winning run|
|Liga MX Review: Goalkeeping howler costs champions Leon, Monterrey move top|
|Chilean Primera Division Review: Huachipato, Santiago Wanderers opening-day winners|
|Brazilian Serie A Review: Internacional rout Flamengo, Cruzeiro win again|
|Prosinecki keen on South Korea job|
|Woodward promises new United signings|
|Chelsea´s Omeruo set for Middlesbrough return|
|Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying Review: Lesotho, Congo, Benin take first-leg leads|
|Ecuadorian Primera A Review: Deportivo Cuenco shock leaders Emelec, Independiente held|
|Rodriguez spotted in Madrid|
|Niang and Mastalli earn Milan win|
|Jutkiewicz at the double in Burnley rout|
|Crouch denies Gladbach victory|
|Hertha lead Biermann tributes|
|Vidic makes Inter bow in narrow victory|
|Rodriguez eager to leave Atletico|
|Thai Premier League Review: Buriram fail to close gap on Muang Thong, Chonburi gain ground|
|CSL Review: Guangzhou R&F take advantage as rivals Evergrande are held|
|Juventus and Lazio hold Astori talks|
|Lewandowski and Contento back in training|
|Sunderland target Borini joins Liverpool squad for US tour|
|K.League Review: Jeonbuk hammer Sangmu, Steelers march on|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Buckley warns St Pat´s, Celtic primed to progress|
|Giaretta reveals Pereyra in demand|
|Kramer confirms Napoli talks|
|Nedved insists Juve key men going nowhere|
|Barton is a manager in the making - Redknapp|
|Monk unfazed from friendly setback|
|Holland: Lukaku not set to leave Chelsea|
|Debut nerves for Lambert|
|Woodward: Van Gaal will make United an attacking force|
|MLS Review: Sporting KC win again, Toronto held|
|Wenger: I´ll talk to Wilshere|
|Redknapp almost retired|
|Allardyce: Home form key for West Ham|
|Luis Enrique: ´We can´t draw conclusions yet´|
|Liverpool agree to sell Borini to Sunderland|
|Late Falque penalty spares Spurs blushes|
|Besler, Zusi agree Sporting KC contracts|