SEATTLE — Juninho scored a valuable away goal early in the second as the Los Angeles Galaxy advanced to the Major League Soccer final for the ninth time in club history despite losing 2-1 to the Seattle Sounders on Sunday.
The Western Conference final ended 2-2 on aggregate, but away goals were used as a tiebreaker in playoffs for the first time this season and Los Angeles used it to the full advantage following a 1-0 win in the first-leg last weekend.
After surrendering goals to Brad Evans and Clint Dempsey's in the first 32 minutes, Juninho's goal was the difference. The Galaxy will go for their fifth MLS championship and kept the career of Landon Donovan going for one more game.
Los Angeles will host Eastern Conference champion New England in the final next Sunday.
Seattle was attempting to reach the MLS Cup final for the first time and the Sounders appeared headed that way after an exciting first 45 minutes where their top players were at their best. Evans' goal in the 25th minute pulled Seattle even on aggregate and Dempsey's first goal of the playoffs put the Sounders in front.
It was a crushing result for Seattle, which was attempting to become the first team in league history to win the MLS Cup, Supporters' Shield and U.S. Open Cup in the same season.
After a disjointed first 25 minutes, Evans' goal immediately opened up the field for Seattle. Dempsey scored but was flagged for being offside. Martins airmailed an open attempt in the box and Lamar Neagle's left-footed shot for the far post was pushed aside by Penedo.
Seattle finally got the lead and Dempsey was the instigator. He kept the play alive by getting a pass off to DeAndre Yedlin while on the ground, then was in the right spot when Yedlin's cross was deflected to the top of the penalty area.
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