November 7, 2012
Best of the rest – both top seeds ousted
SPORTING KANSAS CITY 1, HOUSTON DYNAMO 0 (Houston advances 2-1)
|Seth Sinovic scored for Sporting Kansas City, but Houston Dynamo won their aggregate series 2-1
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
KANSAS CITY, Kan.—The fifth-seeded Houston Dynamo lost the battle but won the war on Wednesday night, falling 1-0 to Supporters’ Shield runners-up Sporting Kansas City in the second leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal, but advancing to the conference championship by a 2-1 aggregate score.
The Dynamo will host the winner of Thursday’s DC United – New York Red Bulls semifinal finale Sunday at BVA Compass Stadium (4:00 pm ET).
After stunning top-seeded Sporting with two goals in the series opener, the Dynamo concentrated on protecting their series lead on Wednesday. Goalkeeper Tally Hall made three saves as the Dynamo were outshot 20-3 overall. KC put only four shots on goal, however, and got only one goal, a 64th-minute diving header from the top of the six-yard box by defender Seth Sinovic.
Dynamo netminder Tally Hall held fast through withering pressure as the clock wound down, smothering a hard shot by Roger Espinoza without leaving a rebound for the Sporting player trailing the play into the six-yard box. Sinovic had a stoppage-time chance to send things to overtime with the series equalizer, but could not make solid contact on CJ Sapong’s service across the goalmouth.
DC UNITED @ NEW YORK RED BULLS ppd
Harrison, NJ-- Mother Nature dealt another blow to the Eastern Conference semifinal series between second-seeded DC United and the third-place New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night. Four days after Hurricane Sandy forced the first leg to be moved from Red Bull Arena to RFK Stadium, Wednesday’s return match was postponed due to heavy, wet snow that was falling faster than it could be cleared off the Red Bulls’ home field, and will now be played Thursday night at 7:30 pm.
The postponement also prompted MLS to reschedule the opening of the conference final series against Houston from Saturday afternoon to Sunday at 4:00 pm ET.
Many of the fans on hand for Wednesday’s aborted start were United fans who were given free bus transportation and tickets when the series schedule was originally changed. Some 700 United supporters took advantage of the offer, which will be repeated for Thursday’s game.
Full story from Big Apple Soccer
LA GALAXY 3, SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 1 (LA advances 3-2)
SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Robbie Keane scored two goals and Landon Donovan had two assists as the LA Galaxy ousted the top-seeded San Jose Earthquakes from the MLS Cup playoffs with a 3-1 win Wednesday at Buck Shaw Stadium and a 3-2 aggregate-goals triumph in their Western Conference semifinal series.
The Galaxy will host either Seattle Sounders FC or Real Salt Lake in the opening game of the conference championship series on Sunday. The Sounders and RSL are tied 0-0 going into Thursday’s second leg of their semifinal set.
In the 21st, Keane teed up a blistering shot that glanced off of the left post and in to level the aggregate-goals series at 1-1.
And that was just the beginning. In the 34th minute, Omar Gonzalez started an end-to-end play from in front of the LA goal, passing the ball to Landon Donovan near midfield. Donovan brought the ball upfield and found Keane as he darted through the San Jose defense and into the penalty area, took one touch to get around Busch and pushed a shot home from just off the right post.
Five minutes later, Mike Magee opened up a two-goal LA lead, again as the beneficiary of hesitant defending on San Jose’s part. Donovan got the ball off a right-side throw-in and took the ball toward the corner before cutting it back into the center of the box for Magee, who was wide open.
An 81st-minute goal by Alan Gordon brought back bitter memories of two-goal leads lost to the Quakes during the regular season and re-energized LA who held on for the win.
Full story from LA Soccer News