Nov 4, 2013 at 2am UK at ​The Home Depot Center
LA GalaxyLos Angeles Galaxy
Salt LakeReal Salt Lake
Franklin (47')
Juninho (25'), Garcia (84')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Beckerman (23')

Live Commentary: Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 Real Salt Lake - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's coverage of LA Galaxy against Real Salt Lake in the MLS Western Conference semi-final first-leg playoff.

Los Angeles Galaxy have beaten Real Salt Lake 1-0 in the MLS semi-final playoff this morning.

Sean Franklin fired in a long-range effort just after the restart to give the LA side a slender lead ahead of the second leg.

RSL failed to muster much until the final 10 minutes, and Robbie Keane missed two glorious chances for the holders.

See how the action unfolded below.

1.33amHello and welcome to Sports Mole’s live commentary of the Western Conference semi-final between Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles Galaxy at StubHub Centre.

1.35amThis of course is the first leg, and will be played at Real Salt Lake’s StubHub Centre. We'll have the team news for you as soon as it reaches us.

1.38amSalt Lake: Rimando; Beltran, Schuler, Borchers, Wingert; Beckerman, Alvarez; Gill, Morales, Grabavoy; Saborio,

1.40amLA Galaxy: Penedo; Franklin, Gonzalez, Opare, Dunivant; Rogers, Sarvas, Juninho, Zardes; Keane, Donovan

1.42amSo The Galaxy has their stellar names in the lineup, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, while Real have their hitman Alvaro Saborio up top.

1.44amKeane tops the scoring charts for the Galaxy, with 16 strikes this campaign, while Donovan has 10 of his own.
Meanwhile Saborio has 12 this season, with the second highest coming from Javier Morales, who has eight.

1.46amEarlier this evening, Houston Dynamo and New York Red Bulls played out a 2-2 draw in the Eastern semi-final. Ricardo Clark and Omar Cummings scored the goals for the Dynamo, after Tim Cahill and Eric Alexander had given the New York side a two-goal lead.

1.48amBoth teams head into this evening’s match on the back of a four-game unbeaten streak, with two wins and two draws a piece.

1.50amThe Los Angeles outfit emerged victorious when these two teams met back in August, running out 4-2 winners at the StubHub Centre.

1.54amElsewhere in the Western Conference, Portland Timbers beat the Seattle Sounders 2-1.

1.56amOsvaldo Alonso's 90th minute strike for the Sounders has given them a fighting chance in the away leg, after Darlington Nagbe and Ryan Johnson had earlier given the Timbers a two-goal lead.

1.57amFingers crossed we're just minutes away from the kickoff, although some MLS games are known to start after their scheduled times unfortunately. We will see.

1.59amThe Galaxy confirmed their place in the playoffs with a 0-0 draw at home to San Jose Earthquakes on October 21.

2.01amWell, it doesn't look like kickoff is too far away fortunately. The two teams are just coming out of the tunnel as I type.

2.03amYou get the feeling that Robbie Keane could be crucial this evening. The Irishman is the Galaxy's leading scorer and earlier this year became Ireland's record caps holder.

2.06amPREDICTION: So, I'm going to go for a narrow win for the Galaxy this evening at the StubHub Centre. I think the LA outfit will shade it 2-1.

2.08amWell, I guess my claim that kickoff was imminent was off. We'll be a few more minutes yet, I believe.

2.09amWell, we're 10 minutes behind schedule, but here we go...

1 minKICKOFF: We're underway here.

2 minThere's been a good tempo to this match. It'll be interesting to see if both club's can keep this up. Lots of zip in the passing.

3 minCHANCE! Saborio fires in an effort from the dge of the box, but he doesn't quite get hold of it with his left foot.

4 minCHANCE! There's that understanding between Keane and Donovan. The Irishman knocks it in to his teammate and the USA international flicks it right back to him, but Keane cannot connect with the volley inside the area. Nice link up.

5 minDonovan flights over a corner but it is easily gathered by the goalkeeper. Good start to this game.

6 minNearly some more link up between Keane and Donovan, but this time the American is flat footed as Keane steps over the pass from Zardes.

9 minSo nearly a great crossfield pass from Juninho, but he just quite can't reach Robbie Rogers out wide.

10 minJust to remind you, there is no 'Away Goal' rule in the MLS playoff.

11 minLovely play between Zardes and Opare releases the former wide left, and his low cross is nearly met by Keane, before RSL scramble it clear. The Galaxy are playing the better football here.

12 minCHANCE! Zardes releases Donovan with a great through ball, but the striker flashes his shot wide with his left foot. Big chance for the visitors.

15 minGonzalez sends in a deep cross that Zardes nearly controls, but he fouls his marker in the process. RSL sturggling to get out their own half at the minute. Really positive 15 minutes for the away side.

16 minThe Galaxy seem to be keen to get the ball to their wide players this evening. Rogers and in particular Zardes are enjoying plenty of the ball here.

18 minCHANCE! Well, what a chance this is for Keane. Donovan turns it into his path and the Irishman has acres of space to run into with the ball, but his shot is tame and is easily held by Rimando in the RLS goal. Poor finish from Keane.

21 minDonovan escapes a couple of challenges wide left and crosses, but it is held by Rimando. Galaxy are pressing well here. A goal could be forthcoming.

22 minBOOKING: Beckerman goes in the book for a wild challenge on Sarvas on the half way line.

24 minBOOKING: Juninho goes in the book for a similar challenge. Both were deserved yellows.

25 minCHANCE! Lovely build up between Morales and Gill, ends up with the latter firing an effort in on the edge of the box. Nice play from the pair. A warning to the Galaxy that they won't have it all their own way this evening.

27 minKeane wants a penalty for a handball, after he connects with Donovan's high cross. He was optimistic with the appeal. It is a corner instead and Franklin hits an effort over the bar from the resulting centre.

29 minZardes finds Keane in space 30 yards or so out and the Irishman drives at the RSL defence before trying to thread a through ball on the edge of the box. The visitors eventually clear their lines.

31 minCHANCE! Gonzalez finds Rogers with a perfectly weighted ball over the top and the winger crosses but it is expertly turned behind. Corner to the Galaxy is cleared. Great defending by Schuler.

35 minNot much happening in the last few minutes. RSL have started to get a foot hold in the game and they are retained possession a bit better. Morales hits a low effort that Penedo holds.

37 minGonzalez reads an RSL attack early and snuffs the danger out. The game has really quietened down the last 10 minutes or so.

40 minRogers gets it wide and centres a low cross, for Gonzalez who had crept up from the back, but it is cleared. Rogers tries again, but Rimando holds the second attempt.

41 minCHANCE! Schuler again with a superb interception. Keane and Donovan exchange passes and the Irishman stabs it across the face of goal and it looks for all the world that Donovan will tap in, but Schuler stretches out a leg to clear.

42 minCHANCE! Rogers turns his header towards the back post and it nearly creeps in.

44 minHalf time approaching, and RSL will be praying for the whistle at this point. The Galaxy are threatening everytime they venture forward now.

45 minKeane nearly finds Donovan with a through pass, but it is blocked by Schuler again. Crucial block as Donovan was away then.

45+1 minHALF TIME: Real Salt Lake 0-0 Los Angeles Galaxy

2.57amWell certainly, the Galaxy have been the better side. Zardes, Keane and Donovan are all looking dangerous, and the strikers have linked up a few times to cause problems. They should be leading through Keane, who spurned a glorious chance when he went one-on-one with Rimando.

2.59amThe away side will certainly have to improve if they want to win this game. They have looked toothless apart from one decent move involving Gill and Morales.

3.02amYou have to think there is a goal in this for the Galaxy. Keane and Donovan has pulled the RSL all over the place with their movement, and if it wasn't for Schuler, Donovan would have scored already.

3.05amSo the second half is nicely poised then. Real Salt Lake will know that they must improve, but LA Galaxy could probably feel that they can grab an important goal.

3.08amOf course, LA Galaxy are looking to make it three straight MLS title wins.

3.10amWe're minutes away from what should be a thoroughly entertaining second half of football.

46 minKICKOFF: Here we go then. Second half underway here.

46 minKeane applauds the through ball, but he stumbled over the ball after running through on goal. Again it's the ball into space behind the defence that troubled RSL.

47 minGOAL! Real Salt Lake 0-1 Los Angeles Galaxy (Sean Franklin)

47 minMy word, what a strike from Franklin. All of 25-30 yards, he nearly took the net off with that one. He has just smashed it home, it swerved beyond Rimando in the RSL goal. Great effort.

49 minCHANCE! Nearly 2-0 as Landon Donovan turns Keane's cross goalwards. The Galaxy have their tails up now.

50 minRogers is hounded out of it by three challenges, but he was fouled and it is a freekick wide right for the Galaxy. Good position this...

51 minRimando comes from his line to gather it comfortably. There are definitely more goals in this for the visitors though. Can they put the tie to bed this morning?

53 minMorales jinks past one tackle on the edge of the box but is closed out by two more challenges. He did well there Morales, but perhaps he could have hit it earlier. Still, it is a glimmer for the visitors.

57 minSUB: Findley on for Alvarez for Real Salt Lake. Let's see if he can affect some change for the visitors.

58 minKeane slides in Donovan inside the six yard box, but the American striker had strayed offside.

60 minSUB: Grabavoy comes off for Velasquez for RSL, while Rogers is replaced by Jimenez for the Galaxy.

61 minJimenez's first involvement is to flight a ball out wide for Zardes and the left winger meets it but can't quite connect with the shot after controlling it on his chest inside the area.

63 minA rare mix-up between Donovan and Keane as he former plays it outside as his teammate makes the run inside his marker. Again though, it is that combination that is causing problems.

64 minSaborio turns and hits it first time with one move, but his well-struck effort is wide. Lovely skill from the striker though. A reminder that it only takes a chance for RSL to get back into this tie.

66 minCHANCE! Big chance for the away side. A cross is met by substitute Velasquez at the back post but his shot is blocked before he can connect properly. It took an age to come down for the sub.

67 minFranklin bursts past Schuler inside the area and goes down under the challenge, but he doesn't appeal for a penalty. It is a corner to Galaxy.

69 minVelasquez accelrates past two challenges before trying to feed Saborio on the edge of the box, but the striker had strayed offside. Perhaps the sub might have been better off shooting on his favoured left there.

71 minJimenez delivers an inviting cross from a wide right position but no can get on the end of it. Zardes was guilty of being flat footed there, as he could have stole in and connected with the cross had he been alert.

72 minReally good effort from Beckerman who goes past his man with a step over before hitting a left-footed shot at goal. Perhaps it was going wide but Penedo had to save it to be sure.

74 minKeane and Donovan yet again. The latter dribbles at the heart of the defence and feeds Keane who made the run left. However the former Liverpool striker cannot return the pass as he clipped cross is dealt with.

76 minCHANCE! Zardes escapes a challenge inside the area, but needs help, so he holds on to it and delays until support arrives, but his cross is cleared.

78 minSUB Saborio goes off for Sandoval. Like for like up top, although slightly surprising that RSL have taken their top scorer off. It hasn't been his best night, but he has had little to work with.

79 minCHANCE! Sandoval nearly gets on the end of a cross to make himself an instant hero, but he just couldn't stretch enough with the diving header.

80 minAttack may be the best form of defence for the Galaxy as they have conceded 18 goals in the last 10 minutes of games this season, while RSL have scored 19.

82 minSUB Garcia is on for Sarvas for the visitors.

83 minBOOKING: Garcia's first contribution is to go into the book.

84 minCHANCE! Big big miss from Robbie Keane. Similar to his first half chance, he bore down on goal and has acres of space and time, but he fired it wide this time. Poor miss. Could have given his side some breathing space.

86 minReal Salt Lake are making a good fist of it, but they have waited the best part of 80 mins before they showed any attacking intent. Velasquez has made a difference since he has come on.

87 minCHANCE! The ball bounces to Donovan after some pinball inside the box but Rimando is out quickly to smother it.

88 minIt hasn't really been a great night for Keane tonight. He gets it out wide left and runs inside the box but falls over the ball. Moments later he gets it inside the box, but can't adjust to get the shot off.

90 minSUB: De La Garza comes on for Juninho.

90+1 minWe're into stoppage time here. RSL are pressing for an equaliser.

90+2 minFULL TIME: Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 Real Salt Lake

4.01 amSean Franklin's rocket sends the Galaxy away with a slender 1-0 win. That's all from me, I hope you enjoyed the commentary. Bye for now.

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Andrew Jean-Baptiste on February 11, 2012
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