Sandy, UT (Sports Network) - Seattle Sounders FC needed more than seven hours
to score against Real Salt Lake this season.
They got only goal that matters Thursday night.
Mario Martinez scored off a half-volley with nine minutes remaining as Seattle
beat Real Salt Lake, 1-0, at Rio Tinto Stadium to win their Western Conference
semifinal aggregate series by the same score, 1-0.
Seattle and Real Salt Lake tied the first game, 0-0. Sounders FC did not score
in three regular-season matches against RSL, with the last two also 0-0.
Sounders FC advanced to the conference final for the first time and will visit
the defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday for the first leg.
Seattle will host the second leg on Nov. 18.
Nick Rimando was the hero for Real in the first match, as he posted his fourth
shutout in as many matches despite suffering a broken nose and cuts around his
Rimando was again the difference for 80-plus minutes in the second game, as he
deflected a shot from Martinez off the crossbar in the first half and tipped a
shot from Brad Evans off the right post in the opening minutes of the second.
Martinez finally solved Rimando in the 81st minute, when Evans passed to Fredy
Montero, who fed Martinez on the left side of the penalty area. Martinez lined
up a shot and unleashed a half-volley that was perfectly placed.
Martinez curled his shot past a diving Rimando and just inside the right post,
as Seattle ended a 441-minute scoring drought against Real this season and its
The Sounders advanced to the postseason in their first three years in MLS, but
failed to advance before the win over Real Salt Lake in their fourth attempt.
The Sports Network