Seattle, WA, United States (4E Sports) – Despite a 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders Sunday at CenturyLink Field, the Los Angeles Galaxy advanced to the 2012 MLS Cup final via a 4-2 aggregate and arranged a rematch of last year’s championship showdown against the Houston Dynamo.
Earlier, the Dynamo settled for a 1-1 draw with DC United in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Championship but marched into the championship round due to a 4-2 aggregate.
Los Angeles will host the Dynamo, eyeing a repeat of its 1-0 victory in the championship game to clinch the title last year.
The Galaxy carried a three-goal advantage into the game after defeating the Sounders, 3-0, in the first round of the two-leg Western Conference Championship.
The Sounders looked poised to overhaul that lead after grabbing a two-goal lead behind a close-range kick by Eddie Johnson in the 12th minute and a header by Zach Scott in the 57th minute.
However, the Galaxy were awarded a penalty after the ball struck Adam Johannson’s hand in the box. Robbie Keane calmly buried the goal in the 68th minute, cutting the Sounders’ lead to 2-1 and clinching a two-goal cushion on aggregate with 22 minutes left to play.
Seattle desperately tried to score two more goals but Fredy Montero’s attempt to draw a penalty kick failed and Jeff Parke missed two attempts against goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
Meanwhile, Boniek Garcia buried a goal in the 33rd minute to help propel fifth-seeded Houston to the Eastern Conference title with a 1-1 draw at the sold-out RFK Stadium.
The Dynamo advanced to the championship round for the second straight season by virtue of a higher aggregate after taking the first leg, 3-1.
DC United tried to overhaul the Dynamo’s huge advantage in aggregate but came up with just a lone goal from Branko Boskovic in the 83rd minute.