LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake are never short on playoff drama and everyone knows it. The past two years these two teams have met and fireworks have been blown. In 2010 RSL beat LA in the MLS Cup final and in 2012 LA beat RSL in the Western Conference Championship. So yeah, you can say these two teams have a history in the playoffs. Bruce Arena had his usual lineup, aside from Rogers, for last night’s game. He also had the pairing of Donovan, Keane and Zardes which gave RSL’s defense a run for their money.
Both teams started off the first half strong as they both got shots off fairly early. Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan connected in the 6th minute but Keane hit the ball too soft and came up empty handed. The first half was exciting but was lacking in goals, for that matter let’s just hop right to the second half which was awesome and crazy.
If you follow me on twitter you know that I tweet during the games and basically go crazy. Well, I tweeted that I knew LA would have to jump on the goal scoring early, or else RSL’s confidence would build and they would make a dangerous move… 30 seconds after I tweeted, Sean Franklin scored a ROCKET of a goal in the 48th minute. It was one of those goals that makes your jaw drop and say “what?” It was GOLDEN. Seriously just watch this gif over and over and then pick your jaw up off the floor.
After Franklin’s goal RSL made a couple changes and brought on Robbie Findley, one of LA’s worst nightmares. Findley brings a certain aspect to the game that has gave LA trouble in the past, and last night was no different. As soon as Findley came on RSL picked up their pace and had a decent shot on goal. When it reached the final 15 minutes of the game LA decided to go back to their old ways and almost make their fans have a heart attack. RSL decided to use their final sub to bring on a striker, and immediately LA was thrown into a tizzy. RSL’s Gil had an open net opportunity in the 80th minute that was blocked by Todd Dunivant, from there RSL had two more dire chances.
Keane had a one on one chance with Rimando but missed it just wide, it was one of those goals that you just know could come back and haunt you (since this is a 180 minute game stretch). It could have been a vital goal but alas LA settled for a one goal lead as they travel to Rio Tinto on Thursday for the final game.
The final game is Thursday night 9 p.m. EST on ESPN. It’s bound to be a crazy match-up full of drama.