The Los Angeles Galaxy have advanced to the Western Conference Finals after a 2-1 home win over the New York Red Bulls, adding to the 1-0 victory the achieved in New York last weekend. For a little while, it didn't seem as though things would be as straightforward as they ended up turning out - within four minutes of the match kicking off at the Home Depot Center Luke Rodgers had put the visitors ahead after being fed expertly by Thierry Henry and then firing first-time past Josh Saunders.
That goal shook LA's resolve a little and the Red Bulls were rampant in the early going. It looked for all the world like the visitors were on course for a crushing and completely unexpected victory, with the Galaxy completely unable to retain possession. But then Teemu Tainio went off with a hamstring problem and everything started to fall apart for New York.
Robbie Keane had about five hundred good chances to score before his teammates got bored and did the job for him, Mike Magee losing Dane Richards on a corner and nodding David Beckham's delivery straight over Frank Rost to make it 1-1 on the evening and 2-1 on aggregate, and from then on things mostly went the Galaxy's way. The best chance New York had of tying things up again came when the excellent Dax McCarty played Rodgers clean through on goal, but the English striker could only find the side netting when it seemed easier to score.
Only a few minutes had passed after that wasted chance before Beckham won a penalty following a really silly foul by Roy Miller, and the otherwise unimpressive Landon Donovan stepped up to convert. Following that rather pointless spot kick, the Red Bulls needed two goals to advance. They would end up getting, none, and the Galaxy advance to face Real Salt Lake on Sunday.