An early Darren Mattocks goal is the difference at halftime in the Western Conference Wild Card game, as the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps lead the LA Galaxy 1-0. Although the Galaxy have held the lion's share of possession and had more chances, Vancouver converted their only real chance so far and have been able to hang on for the lead.
The scoring opened in the third minute, when Mattocks received a pass from Matt Watson after beating Hector Jimenez on the flank. Mattocks buried the shot in the far corner on a nifty diagonal shot, and Vancouver took the shock lead.
Over the course of the half, the Galaxy continued to ratchet up the pressure on Vancouver, but could not convert their chances. Perhaps the best chances came from a Robbie Keane shot through traffic that forced a save from Brad Knighton in the 28th minute, and a David Beckham free kick in first half injury time just outside Vancouver's box that was also saved by Knighton.
It appears the second half will probably get more physical, and referee Silviu Petrescu, who only gave out one yellow card in the first half, will likely need to crack down with more whistles and cards. A group of Galaxy players surrounded Petrescu at halftime, and it will be interesting to see if they will channel their frustration or continue to struggle in this match. For Vancouver, they will probably look for another quick goal if they can get a chance, but their task will primarily be to hang on defensively for another 45 minutes.