The Los Angeles Galaxy’s reign as back-to-back MLS Cup champions came to a crashing end on Thursday with Real Salt Lake holding on for a 2-0 extra time win at Rio Tinto Stadium. The game was tied on aggregate 1-1 after regulation time.
Chris Shuler scored off a great back-post finish in the first period of extra time to seal the deal. The tall defender got his foot ahead of his defender to re-direct a free-kick into the net. The goal erased worries of another chance missed for the home crowd. RSL hit the post, crossbar and had a goal controversially disallowed before sealing the deal.
In the other Western Conference semifinal, the Portland Timbers made a statement about the best team in the northwest with their 3-2 win over the Seattle Sounders at Jeld-Wen Field to take the tie 5-3 on aggregate. The home side took a 2-0 lead to the break with goals from Will Johnson and Diego Valeri and added a third by Futty Danso and it was all over but the shouting.