SEATTLE–The LA Galaxy entered the match with a three-goal lead heading into their second leg encounter in Seattle. The Sounders made a game of it by reducing LA’s two-match total goal advantage to one with over 30 minutes left in regulation time.
Forward Eddie Johnson raised the expectations of the 44,575 in attendance with his 12th minute goal. Defender Zach Scott re-energized the crowd in the 57th minute with his set piece header that made the aggregate total 3-2.
Referee Mark Guiger called a handball on Seattle defender Adam Johansson in the 68th minute as he attempted to closely mark Robbie Keane in the penalty area. Keane stepped up to take the PK and scored as keeper Michael Gspurning guessed wrong. The strike was Keane’s third goal in the two-game series.
LA hosts the Houston Dynamo on December 1 to determine the 2012 MLS Cup winner.
Man of the Match: Eddie Johnson
Johnson played his heart out and nearly had two goals early in the match. An erroneous off-sides call by the linesman negated Johnson’s goal. He responded by several minutes later with the first tally of the game.
” We knew that in order to give ourselves a chance we were going to have to have a good start to the game. We would have really liked to get two before halftime, but we just couldn’t get that second goal. I felt like we controlled the game from the first whistle until the end of the game, but sometimes in life you work so hard, but things just don’t go your way.”–Eddie Johnson, Sounders FC forward
The penalty on Adam Johansson
” Adam Johansson’s handling offense: The hand was in an unnatural playing position, and he was making himself bigger by taking space. His arms were outside of his body.”–Mark Geiger, referee
“I thought it was a harsh call because there was nobody in the box, he wasn’t passing it to anybody, all Keane was looking to do was maybe draw a penalty and hit it into his hand. He’s a clever player, and he did well, but on the same token it’s like-an intentional hand ball is taking away an opportunity, what opportunity was there?”–Sigi Schmid, Sounders FC head coach
“I didn’t see it, so I couldn’t tell you. But even if we don’t get the penalty, we still advance 3-2 then.”–Bruce Arena, LA Galaxy head coach
LA’s first leg three-goal advantage
“It was too much of a hole. I still think that we could have beat LA, but you cannot get Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, and David Beckham a three goal lead coming into the game. If they gave us that same lead it would have been the same result for them. You cannot give quality players a three goal start. Playing them at 0-0 is hard enough.”–Steve Zakuani, Sounders FC midfielder
“It was a big whole to climb out of, and I think we all realize the importance of playing to zero on the road. So I think we are a bit disappointed there, that we found ourselves in such a big hole, and in the end we wanted to leave it all on the field.”–Zach Scott, Sounders FC defender
Robbie Keane’s performance
“Robbie worked hard. We had to have guys doing things that they’re not accustomed to necessarily, and Robbie had to chase the ball a lot tonight, and did what we expect a player of his quality to do in a game like this and these kind of conditions.”–Bruce Arena
“It was pretty funny seeing him (Keane) coming back sliding through and stopping crosses. I thought it was fantastic and i think that is exactly what we needed. Everyone did a great job contributing.” –Omar Gonzalez, LA Galaxy defender
Source: Sounders FC media communications and personal interviews
John Zielonka has been reporting on the Sounders since they joined MLS.