With LA out to protect a lead, they sat back early and were able to stifle RSL's attacks. The biggest event of the first half-hour was a bizarre contested drop ball after Bruce Arena touched the ball while it was still in play. Eventually, the Galaxy seemed to lose their focus a bit, eventually letting in the first goal of the night.
Sebastian Velazquez leveled the tie with a header off the back of a great run from midfield that confused the Galaxy defense. He initially lost Sean Franklin, then split Omar Gonzalez and Kofi Opare perfectly to get on the end of Chris Wingert's cross and nod past Jaime Penedo.
Both teams played somewhat tentatively until Landon Donovan sparked things to live in the 65th minute. He forced Nick Rimando into a big save, waking up RSL, who were all over LA until the end of regular time and were unlucky not to win the tie in 180 minutes.
Chris Schuler hit the bar off a corner in the 74th minute in the first of three huge chances for his team late in the second half. Four minutes later, Alvaro Saborio struck the post from the edge of the penalty area, and he had Penedo caught completely flat-footed on the shot.
In the 85th minute, Baldomero Toledo got himself caught in a bit of controversy when he disallowed what looked to be the winner, scored by Javier Morales on a free kick. It wasn't clear what the goal was disallowed for, with all possibilities looking dubious. Nat Borchers was offside, but did not interfere in play in anyway. Meanwhile. Schuler tugged on Omar Gonzalez's arm, but it wasn't anything not seen on an ordinary free kick.
That forced RSL into extra time, where they would find their go-ahead goal in the first period of stoppage time. Morales set it up with yet another great set piece delivery, this time curling a free kick from the left flank to the far post. Schuler made a great run and was in position to finish from close range with a sliding shot.
An injury that forced Saborio off the pitch after RSL had made all of their substitutions forced the hosts to finish the game with 10 men, adding some late drama. Unsurprisingly, LA controlled the final 10 minutes after he went off, but never found the breakthrough.
Salt Lake: Rimando, Wingert, Schuler, Borchers, Beltran, Beckerman, Gil, Velazquez (Stephenson 90'), Morales (Grossman 105'), Findley (Garcia 76'), Saborio
Goals: Velazquez (35'), Schuler (102')
Los Angeles: Penedo, Dunivant, Gonzalez, Opare (Villarreal 105'), Franklin, Zardes, Juninho, Sarvas (Courtois 111'), Rogers (Delagarza 75'), Donovan, Keane